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Full text of "Cottage And Small Scale Industries"

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DSMAN1A UNIVERSITY LIBRARY 

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Cottage and Small-Scale Industrie 



CHOXXDHRY MUKHTAR SINGH 

liONY. SECRETARY, \IGYAN KALA BIJANVAN; DAURALA 
I'.X-Ol-.NF.RAt. MANAGER, DAtJflALA SUGAR WORKS, UAURAI.A 



this is a detailed survey of the present 
position of Cottage and Small-scale Indus- 
tries in India. Many valuable suggestions 
for development of the existing industries 
and possibilities of new ones are dis- 
cussed. 



K I T A BIST A N 

ALLAHAHAD 



PRINTED BY J. K. SHARMA AT THE ALLAHABAD LAW JOURNAL 
PRESS, ALLAHABAD AND PUBLISHED BY KITABISTAN, ALLAHABAI 



PREFACE 5 

should, therefore, be to establish only those big 
industries which cannot be started on a small scale but 
otherwise giving preference to cottage-scale industries. 
Let the knowledge, skill and experience be distilled 
down to the smallest man of the country so that he 
may be able to contribute in the-well being of the 
whole nation. 

It is in this spirit that this book is conceived and 
written. It has taken me long to collect my ideas in a 
book form and 1 still believe that mine is simply a small 
attempt towards the goal. When better and more 
qualified people of the country think on these lines I 
shall be amply rewarded in provoking thought on this 
important subject. Employment of the greatest number 
is the aim of cottage industries and if I have to some 
extent succeeded in bringing about this claim I have 
done my duty. 

My thanks are due to all those friends with whom I 
have discussed the subject and who have helped in 
formulating my ideas and clarifying the issues. I 
have freely drawn on the reports, surveys and published 
treatises and the number being pretty large I have 
refrained from mentioning their names and acknowledg- 
ing them individually. I hope the authors will excuse 
me for not doing so. 

I wanted this book to be in the hands of the people 
long ago but my illness and preoccupations did not allow 
it to be finished earlier. 

MEERUT, MUKHTAR SINGH 

8-4-1946. Hony. Secretary, 

Vigyan Kala Bhawan, 
D aura la. 



CONTENTS 

PART I 

CHAP. PAGE 

I. Cottage and Small-Scale Industry Defined 9 

II. Place of Cottage Industry in National 

Economy . . . . . . . . 27 

III. Advantages and Disadvantages of Cottage 

Industries as against Large-Scale In- 
dustries . . . . . . . . . . 38 

IV. Difficulties and Handicaps . . . . . , 50 
V. State and Industries . . . . . . . . 69 

VI. Protection of Cottage Industries . . . . 79 

VII. Nationalisation of Cottage Industries . . 93 

VIII. Organisation . . . . . . . . . . 99 

PART II 

Description of Existing Industries . . 109 

PART III 

New Industries . . . , . . 212 



PART I 

CHAPTER I 

COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRY 
DEFINED 

The phrase 'cottage industry' has created a bit 
of confusion, since it has been defined by different 
committee^ differently. Before we proceed further we 
feel it necessary that the implications of these words 
be well understood. Asjjar as^ we are^^aj^ cottage 
industries were first deSned T>y the Industrial Commis- 
sion "as industries carried on in the homes of workers, 
where the scale of operation is small, and there Jsjbut 
little organisation, so that they are, as a rule, ^capable 
of supplying only local needs. " It appears that tlie 
Industrial Commission, described the conditions as 
they then existed, rather than defining the term itself. 
We do not think the intention of the Industrial Com- 
mission was in any way to restrict the scope of cottage 
industries by the above description. Our purpose 
in writing this book, on the other hand, is to point out 
the possibilities of cottage industries, rather than to 
show what they actually are to-day. Our aim is to show 
what they should be, and we have not contented our- 
selves by showing merely what they are. The U.P. 
Industrial Organisation Committee, while discussing 
the scope of cottage industries, did not agree with the 
above definition when they stated that there were a 
number of cottage industries, which even used power 
in their working, and further pointed out that some 
of those industries were very well organised.^ They 
explained cottage industries * jas those in which wotk 
is done, generally speaking, in the M^^c <^f artisan^ 



10 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

/ 

and occasionally in small factories tun by small indus- 
trialists of the entrepreneur type ? power-driven machl- 
nery being rarely used/^. The U.P. Committee, there- 
fore, extended the^scope inasmuch as they included 
those small factories also in which cottage workers were 
employed as well as those small establishments in which 
power was used. We entirely agree with both these 
points, and we visualise that there is no reason why 
the use of power-driven machinery should be elimi- 
nated, nor why cottage industries should not be effi* 
ciently organised. We consider that in the post-war 
reconstruction period, electric power will be avail- 
able to such an extent that in every village electricity 
will be utilised not only for ordinary amenities of life 
like light and fans, but small industries will be carried 
on with the help of machinery worked by electricity. 
If the scientific world has found the use of electricity 
to serve humanity, there seems to be no reason why 
the cottage worker should be deprived of it. 

In Madras, the report on the Survey of Cottage 
Industries was published in 1929. The writers of 
this report have discussed the scope of cottage indus- 
tries. They do "not agree with the definition propound- 
ed by the Industrial Commission. They have tried 
to show that the production of cottage industries 
was never limited to local consumption. While 
discussing the definition given by the Industrial Com- 
mission they pointed out, "The definition is not com- 
prehensive enough as it assumes that the .organisation 
is insufficient and that the market is, as a rule, local. 
There are cottage industries, the markets for the pro- 
ducts of which extend far beyond the locality in which 
they are established, examples of which are weaving 
of kaUns and woollen pile-carpets, lace and embroi- v 
dery industries, etc." Further they tried to define 
the phrase themselves as follows, "An alternative 
definition was, therefore, suggested by the Depart- 
ment of Industries, Madras, in the following terms : 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRY DEFINED II 



Industries carried on in the homes of workers as 
tinct from those carried on in factories. It was con- 
sidered and approved by the Board of Industries con- 
stituted under the Madras State Aid to Industries 
Act, but Government held that the term should be 
taken to refer only to industries carried on exclusively 
for the benefit of, and by, workers in their homes and 
aqt toTn3ustHes "carried on for the benefit of middle- 
men, though the workers happen to work not in fac- 
tories, but in their own cottages." 

They did not go into the question of the use of 
power, which was, perhaps, admitted, as there existed 
a number of cottage industries in which not only 
power was used, but the Industries Department them- 
selves provided tools worked by power. 

The question again came before the Committee 
constituted in Bombay presided oVer by the well-known 
industrialist, Sir Purushottam Das Thakur Das. It was 
in their report, for the first time, that a distinction 
was made between cottage and small-scale industries, 
thereby creating a separate class of small-scale 
industries by itself. 

The report defines Cottage Industries as follows : 

"Cottage industries are industries where no powei 
is used and the manufacture is carried on, generally 
speaking, in the home of the artisan himself and occa- 
sionally in small Karkhanas where not more than 9 
workers are employed." They also defined small- 
scale industries in the following words : 

"By small-scale industries we understand indus- 
tries where power is used and where the number of 
workers does not exceed 50 and the capital invested 
is less than Rs. 30,000." 

They further remarked, "We are of the opinion 
that the fundamental characteristics of a cottage in- 
dustry are (i) the absence of the use of power and 
(2) the location of the manufacture in the home of the 
cottage worker. From an ideal point of view a thkd 



12 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

characteristic should be the ownership of the instruments 
of production by the cottage worker himself and a 
kind of organisation where the industrial worker will 
either be his own master or will belong to a co-operative 
organisation." 

Unfortunately the definition adopted by this 
Committee has created a lot of confusion. The de- 
finition of the "Small-Scale Industries' is altogether 
an arbitrary one. We do not find anywhere any 
reasons as to why the number of workers be restrict- 
ed to 50 and capital investment to Rs. 30,000. Simi- 
larly we do not see any reason as to why power should 
not be used in cottage industries. 

The definition given by the above Committee 
creates a lot of difficulty in the way of improvement 
and development of cottage industries, as also of 
small-scale industries. The difference between cottage 
Uidmall-scale ij^ustt^ real> 

sJjSoT""^t all fundamental." 

~~ If smairiQrEEanasrstarted by capitalists in which 
workers are employed as labourers, have to be in- 
cluded in cottage industries, provided the number of 
workmen therein happens to be not more than nine, 
there seems to be no reason why their development 
should be limited to 50 persons, and to a capital of 
Rs. 30,000 only. We entirely agree, however, that 
cottage industries should be limited as far as possible 
to workers alone, so that the public may have 
opportunities to help and patronise such workers. 
If Karkhanas are included in cottage industries, the 
incentive of helping the small man would altogether 
be lost. It is, therefore, a clear mistake to include 
small Kharkhanas, run by capitalists in cottage indus- 
tries, as also to differentiate between big and small 
factories. For these reasons we cannot agree with 
either the above definition or the distinction drawn 
between cottage and small-scale industries. 

A correct definition of 'Cottage Industries' should 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRY DEFINED IJ 

only be based on realities of our economic life. In 
our view the term Cottage or Home Industry can only 
refer to such' industries as can be carried .on .Jin jLfilace 
where the workmanjjj^^ P,wa. lanour 

or the rFafro^o^ 

" As a matter of fact this was the first 

Conception ofall industries in the beginning. Before 
the introduction of machine and the use of power 
iaCtories were small establishments and therefore neces- 
sarily were cottage or small-scale industries. When 
the consumption of industrial commodities became 
greater, and more widespread, there sprang up a num- 
ber of bigger establishments, where people were em- 
ployed, and manufacturers started manufacturing goods 
with the help of hired labour. The whole history 
of industrial development had three distinct stages : 
{i) when a family, or a few workers started 
together under a common master to manufacture 
articles. This master happened to be a teacher as 
well as the owner of that establishment. In some 
countries these establishments were formed into 
guilds, and laws were promulgated to organise and 
control these guilds and their apprenticeship. Artisans 
used to employ labourers, pupils or apprentices. 

(2) When the requirement of trade went further, 
small Karkhanas were jtarted by the dealers, who em- 
ploxeSjsti^ for 
their own ends. This was the beginning of the factory 
system^_If we study' the economic history of England, 
weThd that such establishments were opposed at 
first both by labourers and artisans w^o were reluctant 
to leave their own homes or to sell their liberty for 
a mess of pottage. But this objection soon died out. 

(3) The third stage begins after this when power was 
utilised to run the above small factories. We know 
even then there were many strikes, and people went to 
the extent of breaking new power machines under the 
impression that if their unrestricted use was allowed 



14 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

to function, artisans will not only be deprived of their 
liberty, but most of them will be thrown out of 
employment, as the. work so far done by hundreds 
of them would henceforth be done by only a few who 
need not be skilled labourers. 

The first state clearly gives an idea .of what cottage 
industry was like^ and what it should be. Then there 
came a time when on the whole continent of Europe 
and in the United States of America all small workers 
were ousted, and the work of the artisan was taken 
away by qualified engineers and chemists, who designed 
machinery and processes, so that the ordinary labourer 
could, with little training in the handling of machines 
or details of processes, be employed to manufacture 
most complicated articles. 

When Japan entered into the markets of the world, 
she brought about a new orientation of manufacture 
on a different scale. The Japanese divided the entire 
scope of industries into two clear-cut divisions. One 
consisted of those industries which could not be done on 
a small scale and for which big plants, buildings, 
and organised labour was needed. In this type of in- 
dustries can be included sugar, cement, paper, heavy 
chemicals, fertilisers, manufacture of machinery, mining, 
etc. The second consisted of those organisations which 
could be worked on a small scale. They studied the 
engineering principles adopted in the manufacture of 
complicated machinery, and tried to make small but 
effective working models, so that the unit of manu- 
facture may become simple but at the same time it was 
designed to include all those mechanical developments 
which were necessary for the success of manufacture and 
production of articles at a cheap rate. Processes, 
in many cases of small unit, were cut down so that an 
article may be finished in different stages, and even at 
different places. In order to utilise all that ingenuity 
of organisation, they provided education not only in 
chemistry and engineering, but also trained worker* 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRY DEFINED I ^ 

cottage work and worker is respected and there is a 
general feeling that it should be helped and patfonised.j 
The articles produced by the worker in his own home 
by his own labour deserve general support and they 
should be popularised throughout the land in order to 
ensure even distribution of wealth and to provide em- 
ployment for as many people as possible in their own 
homes. Any industry, which fulfils this ideal, has all the 
characteristics of a cottage industry and can be deemed 
as such. 

Before trying to formulate a full and comprehensive 
definition of cottage industries it is necessary to consi- 
der a few points connected with industry, its develop- 
ment and organisation and to form our own opinions in 
respect thereof. We therefore propose to deal with thei 
following points in this connection with a view to get- 
ting a clear conception about them to enable us to formu 
late a logical definition of the phrase 'Cottage Industry' 

(a) Place of starting an industry ,- 

(b) Number and type of people employed, 

(/) Power, required, i.e., mechanical power or man- 
ual power. 

(cT) Capital investment, 

(0) Distribution of production, 

(/) Ownership of establishment, 

(g) Inspection and control. 

(a) Place of starting an industry. Everybody will 
agree that oil pressing by bullock power is a profession 
that has continued till to-day in every village. This 
is an industry which is followed by oilman in his own 
home. His wife and children work along with him. 
Similarly, spinning industry, where the ladies of the fami- 
ly ply their spinning wheel, comes in this category. The 
shoemaker, in his own house, purchasing a small 
quantity of leather, with his small tools, carries on shoe 
making, and nobody can call it anything else but a cottage 
industry. So is the case with the goldsmith, the dyer and 
many others who follow their professions in their own 



1 8 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

homes. The very nature of these industries is such that 
they can easily be followed within the fotir corners of 
their homes. But there are some other industries, which 
cannot be easily carried on in cottages wherein the wor- 
ker lives. Take the case of tanning of leather. In even 
a village, tanning of leather is an offensive trade. It 
not only affects the health of the person employed on it, 
but it affects the health of all the neighbours living around^ 
Nobody will like, therefore, to have this industry pifr- 
sued in one's cottage, and people should object to its 
working in the village itself. The place assigned for 
such an offensive trade should be certainly outside the 
habitation, and at a sufficient distance from it. 
But locating it at a place outside a cottage will 
not make it anything but a cottage industry. Simi- 
larly, the manufacture of Khandsari sugar, or jag- 
gery, in one's own fields is a desirable location, and no- 
body will like to call this industry as factory or large- 
scale industry, simply because it is not followed in a cot- 
tage. The dairy industry, comprising of a number of 
cows, may similarly be located in places where better 
facilities exist both for fodder and keeping the cattle 
in open air. Instances of such industries can be multi- 
plied, and it can be shown that the limitation of the indus- 
try to the cottage or the house of the worker should not 
play an important part in the decision of an industry 
as cottage or otherwise. We may consider a particular 
industry to be in this category as long as thfe location 
is not removed far to another village or a city from 
where the skilled worker himself resides. 

(b) Number and type of people employed. Though 
the number of people employed should be restricted, 
but to confine their scope only to the members of the 
family may not be quite fair . The right of a few work- 
men combining together and starting their own work, 
should be recognised as legitimate, and they should 
act be debarred from this definition simply because 
there happens to be a combination of more than one 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRY DEFINED I J 



family. If cottage industries have to be org 
such co-operative combinations will have to be en- 
couraged. Besides there may be required a few unskil- 
led labourers to assist the cottage worker in his work, 
Their employment cannot be said to be in any way ex- 
ploitation of labour. In the country there will always 
remain a number of people who will have to work as 
miskilled labourers somewhere or other. Thek em- 
ployment is a necessity specially in the type of agricul- 
tural industries, such as jaggery, Khandsari, tobacco 
curing, starch and the like. 

Further in case of organising a Karkhana, wherein 
cottage workers are employed either to work on daily ot 
monthly wages, or on piece work, or are allowed to wotk 
for the Karkhanedars in their own cottages, the position 
is different. Although we may wish that the organisers 
of such Karkhanas should not have the same sympathy 
from the public as the cottage worker himself, as the 
Karkhanedar exploits the worker for his own purpose, yet 
by force of circumstances we cannot leave out this type of 
organisation from the scope of help and encouragement 
both from the public and the Government. There may be 
some legislative action necessary to control and organise 
labour, wages, time of work, payment, etc., but on the 
whole such Karkhanedars must be considered on a better 
level, from the point of view of employment, than large- 
scale industries. Some distinction, however, still seems to 
be necessary between the work done by a cottage worker 
himself, and by the Karkhanedar who employs the cottage 
worker. In order to maintain this distinction, we have 
decided to keep such Karkhanas as a unit separate 
from that of cottage industries, and have included 
them as a small-scale industry. We visualise that there 
will soon come a time when this distinction will be ex- 
tended and the place of cottage industries will be far 
more clearly established than what it is to-day. 

(i) Use of power. The question of powet is a 
knotty one. It is legitimate to say that all the knowledge 



20 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

and facilities evolved by the scientific world, whether 
they may be of mechanical or chemical nature, must be 
made available for the development of cottage industries, 
as well as for large-scale industries. But if we once 
decide, as the Bombay Report adverted to above has 
tried to do, that power should not be allowed to be used 
by cottage industries, we at once debar the cottage worker 
from making use of power evolved by the scientists fo< 
the benefit of all. Certainly the use of power may be 
a bad thing if it throws a number of workers out of their 
existing employment; but if it creates a facility of manu- 
facture, or a better product, which could not otherwise 
be made, power should be welcome to every cottage 
worker. If everybody concedes that the chemical 
knowledge, or improvement in processes should be 
availed of by the cottage worker, and the government 
should help the artisan with expert knowledge on this 
point, why then the use of power should be denied. 
We, do not see any reason as to why this should 
be so. Everybody agrees that the use of better tools 
is a necessity to improve production and if that is so, 
new tools or complicated machinery will have to be 
utilised by the cottage worker, and in most of 
the cases they may not be worked by manual labour at 
all. Electricity is a boon to humanity and, when India 
reaches a stage, where electricity would be easily avail- 
able at cheap rates in the villages, it should certainly be 
utilised by the cottage worker as well. The Khandsari 
industry, for instance, with a small motor and centri- 
fogal, will be far better worked than it is done by 
manual labour to-day. 

It is true that when you allow the use of power 
in cottages you have to be very careful, either, in making 
the use of power, as it is done in Japan by reducing the 
voltage of electricity to no instead of 400, or you have 
to guard against accidents. Both these are things which 
can easily be managed and if need be, as in Japan, ins- 
pection, control and rules for using power may be framed 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRY DEFINED 21 

for a cottage worker also. We have no dispute over 
that point. But to ask a cottage worker not to take to 
power is an absurd suggestion, and perhaps seals the 
fate of future development of their work for all times 
to come. We do not consider that the writers of the 
Bombay Report meant it seriously when they made 
that distinction. But perhaps they thought that since 
.^ey have propounded the necessity of helping the small- 
scale industries, there will be no injury done to the cottage 
worker if he employs power-driven machinery, as the 
cottage industry will in that case come under the de- 
finition of small-scale industries. Indirectly, however, 
it has unfortunately created a great mischief. As soon 
as you call any industry, where power is used, a small-scale 
industry, you at once take away the sympathy of the 
people, who want to help the artisan working in his own 
way and producing commodities. There cannot be two 
opinions on the point that a cottage worker requires help 
and patronage from every member of the nation. This 
is the greatest injury that is likely to be done if we dis- 
tinguish the cottage industry from a small-scale indus- 
try on this score. We have, therefore, tried to use both 
these words as synonyms as long as the restrictions that 
we have placed in our definition hold good in their case. 
(d} Capital investment, The amount of money to 
be invested in an industry will depend upon the amount 
needed to carry on the manufacture of an article. If 
the raw material is costly, if the cost of machinery 
and equipment is expensive, or if the articles prepared 
are not likely to be sold out soon, a greater invest- 
ment will certainly be needed. A petty goldsmith 
certainly requires much more investment than a car- 
penter. A jeweller, who cuts precious stones, turns 
them into artistic ornaments, will have to make more 
investment than anybody else. So will be the case 
of a person who produced silverwares. In the case 
of a person making platinum crucibles the invest- 
ment may naturally be larger. A silk sari weaver 



22 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

with gold thread may have to spend a few hundred 
tupees on one piece of cloth. Thus the readers will 
sec that we cannot restrict the question of investment 
to a fixed maximum figure. 

There has been an attempt practically in every 
province to organise the cottage workers in a co-opera- 
tive society, and if this organisation goes on, either 
as on the basis of limited or unlimited liability, tb^ 
amount of capital involved will go on increasing, 
and we cannot put a maximum limit over these con- 
cerns against the companies, which are sponsored 
by share-holders every day. 

(e) Distribution of production. Since the times im- 
memorial, very nice articles have been made and ex- 
ported, even when the use of machinery was unknown. 
Dacca muslins, for instance, were exported through- 
out the continent in the i6th and iyth centuries. They 
were certainly prepared in cottages, and formed the 
mainstay of cottage industry. Even to-day there are 
places noted for brasswares, curios, prints, and the 
like, and their produce is not only distributed through- 
out the country, but is also exported to foreign coun- 
tries. All these industries are very well known cot- 
tage industries. 

Mahatma Gandhi has placed a new orientation 
of cottage industries, for which he has pointed out 
the ideal of self-sufficiency. It may be generally 
correct, but if we make a fetish . or self-sufficiency, 
the ideal may be wrong. The All India Spinners' 
Association has tackled the 



the TnipSSfactiore oF^woolIen ~~ cloth ~ln Kashmir, 
but most of the goods prepared are sold far beyond 
the locality. Will that mean that woollen industry 
is not a cottage industry ? To restrict the distribution 
of produce to a certain locality is not quite correct. 
It must be admitted that most of the production of 
the cottage worker, taken as a whole, will generally 
be consumed round about the centre of production; 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRY DEFINED 2} 

but there may be a number of articles which cannot 
be consumed at the place where they are produced, 
either because the centre has a special facility for the 
raw material, or skill has developed for centuries at 
a certain place for the production of certain articles, 
or there may be certain other natural advantages in 
establishing an industry at a certain locality. But 
t^je very criterion of confining an industry to a certain 
locality, as far as the distribution of the finished pro- 
ducts is concerned, cannot be considered to be a limit- 
ing factor. If we circumscribe, our definition to this 
ideal, we are afraid most oFthe cottage industries will 
have to disappear. The art of paper-making cannot 
be practised everywhere, but paper is transported from 
one place to another. Jaggery, a well-known cottage 
industry run in the U.P., finds its sale throughout 
Gujrat, Punjab and other distant places. 

By the phrase 'self-sufficiency' Mahatma Gandhi 
rightly considers that the exploitation of the consumers 
as well as that of the labourers must be avoided. As 
long as labourers or consumers are not exploited, 
cottage industry can distribute its products not only 
in India, but outside it. Take the case of gut making.' 
Gut is a commoclity which has special advantages for 
its production in India. If it is exported to foreign 
countries, where it cannot be cheaply produced, it will 
certainly be an advantage both to the consumer, as 
^vell as to the producer. Similar may be the case of 
tanned hides and skins. 

(/) Ownership of establishment. This is certainly 
a very important factor in deciding the question of 
cottage industry. If an establishment is owned by 
a capitalist, who uses his money for the purpose of 
exploiting the workers for his own advantages, we 
would not call it a cottage industry. As long as, on the 
other hand, the ownership rests in the worker him- 
self, or a combination of them, we shall call it cottage 
industrv. The main criterion will always be whether 



24 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

a worker has lost his liberty in the establishment or 
not; whether the benefit of trade goes to the worker 
ultimately, or it remains in the hands of the middle- 
man who does nothing else but exploits the workers 
for his own benefit. 

(g) Inspection and control. As we have already staled 
that will depend upon the stage of development of 
industries themselves. If they are likely to become 
dangerous to humanity, they have to be controlled. 
It is in the common interest that even a cottage worker 
should not endanger himself in his own workshop. 
The lines upon which these rules will be framed will 
differ according to the conditions, which will prevail 
in each of these industries. 

~'~Taking all the above factors into consideration 
we can now define 'cottage industry* as follows : 

All industries, which are worked by the owners 
themselves with the help of their dependents (wife, 
children and relations) with a few labourers, the total 
number not exceeding nine, are cottage industries, pro- 
vided they are worked in the home of the cottage worker 
or in some other place in the same locality. The em- 
ployment of mechanical power or their organisation 
pn the basis of limited or unlimited liability will not 
Exclude them from this category. 

*StnaU*scale industry* means all Karkhanas which 
may or may not be factories under the Factories* Act 
ana wherein the artisan and skilled workers are em* 
ployed by the Karkhanedar for his own benefit. While 
doing so we have limited the small-scale industry to 
nine persons, and have excluded all those establish- 
ments which fall under the term 'factory* as defined 
by Factories* Act. This has to be done as we* feel 
tjaat a factory which employs power and jo men, can* 
not be said to be a small-scale industry. Those estab- 
lishments in Japan where more people than nine, 
bfct say upto jo, are employed are known as medium- 
scale industries, and. Derhaos this is a correct nhrase 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRY DEFINED Z} 

for such factories. We further do not agree that the 
limit of Rs. 30,000 should be placed upon such indus- 
,tries. Small-scale as well as medium-scale industries 
are likely to employ much more capital than Rs, 30,000 
in certain cases, while in others tnis amount may fall 
short considerably. The question of capital, as we 
have stated elsewhere, does not seem to be an impor- 
t^tit factor in classifying a factory as a cottage, small 
or medium-scale industry. 

In the above definition of cottage industry we 
have certainly included all those industries which 
en^ploy mechanical power, and we strongly feel that 
it is unjust not to allow the cottage worker the use 
of machinery and power. All these inventions are 
daily increasing and new knowledge and experience 
is daily being acquired. There is no sense in debarring 
the cottage worker from utilising these discoveries 
and inventions. Rather we feel that we must provide 
the cottage worker both with improved tools and 
machinery as well as power generated either by electri- 
city or by some other means. It may be admitted 
that the water-driven flour mills in the hilly parts of the 
country have always been recognised to fee so. Why 
then people using electricity or a small diesel engine 
in other industries should be debarred from this ad- 
vantage. >k 

Co-operative Societies have done very little useful 
work as we have pointed out elsewhere. But the 
main drawback to thek success has been that the 
best workers do not want to join as they cannot 
accept unlimited liability. Co-operative Societies 
have recognised the principle of limited liability. But 
unfortunately they have, in very few cases, extended 
this privilege to the organisation of cottage or small-* 
scale industries. We wish that this principle should 
be 30 extended. There may be cases in which t$$ 
co-operative societies may not be formed or the officers 
of the department may not think it worth while to do 



l6 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

so. 10 both the cases the ordinary companies* law 
should be available to the cottage worker, as it is avail- 
able to every two persons who care to form themselves 
into a limited private company. Even now there 
is no bar for anjr two cottage workers to combine 
into a limited private company or take more people 
with them, and to get themselves recognised as a limit- 
ed concern under the companies' law. We have 
purposely included such cases under our definition, 
as we want to point out that if such a privilege is ex- 
tended to cottage workers, and they are apprised of its 
utility, these people will be better organised, and their 
work will be smoother, and their financial liabilities will 
be overcome to a very great extent. Further they 
will have a better status created by such an organisation. 
We visualise that all small Karkhanas sooner or 
later will be absorbed in co-operative organisations 
and then the objection of exploitation of skilled labour 
will cease to exist. This J[s jwhy $re have used both 
the words cottage and small-scale industry as synonyms 
in this booklet. 



CHAPTER II 

PLACE OF COTTAGE INDUSTRY IN 
NATIONAL ECONOMY 

There is a large number of people who seem to 
believe that if we make improvements in agriculture 
we can raise the standard of the masses. According 
to them economic betterment of the people depends 
entirely on improvement in agriculture. This is the 
most fallacious argument. It is advanced by those? 
who like to keep us 'hewers of wood and drawers of \ 
water* for ever./ 

In 'Rural India 1 we have tried to prove the futility 
of such arguments. 

/Before we make a fresh attempt to prove that the 
above argument is fallacious we must state a few funda- 
mentals well known to the economists. The first 
and the foremost fundamental fact of economics is 
that agriculture is always the least paying industry. 
Any country, therefore, whose population mainly 
depends upon agriculture must always remain poor* 
Even in the United States of America where holdings 
ate generally over 199 acres, where cash crops ate 
mostly grown and many people live on fruits, vege- 
table, and dairy fanning, the peasant's income is i&uc 
less than that of the industrialist, not to say of India 
where holdings are very small, where cash crops ate 
only few and the farmers are generally illiterate. 

The second fundamental is that 20 acres is con- 
sidered to be the smallest area which can keep a farmer 
10 comfortable circiim5tanctff < This is the standatd 
fixed by countries where produce par acre is far higher 
than 0u|B 



28 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCAUB INDUSTRIES 

The total cultivated area in British India in 1940-41 
was 25,94 69,448 acres while the total rural population 
happens to be z)z>zzjj which gives only one acre 
per head. If we take an average of a family of 5 
persons the average holding comes to only 5 acres. 
If we take away oig holdings out of the above *area, 
the figure of per capita area will be very much reduced. 
If we take into consideration the small area whiqh 
has irrigation facilities, the area which is every year 
flooded and also the area which has to be cultivated 
in the hope that something may g*ow we shall be at 
once convinced that this area can never be sufficient 
to give a comfortable living to the people. Add to 
the above difficulties, the failure of crops due to insect 
and other climatic causes. 

If we look to the figures of the density of popu- 
lation we shall at once be convinced that the cultivated 
area in the country is so small that it is quite insuffi- 
cient to keep the body and soul of the people together. 
Below we give the density of population in different 
provinces. 



COTTAGE INDUSTRY IN NATIONAL ECONOMT 



Dmsityof 
trwint* Population 
fir $q* mik 


Maximum &*sity 

intb* 
district 


D***ity 


Madras 


59* 


Malabar 


679 


Bombay 


7* 


Surat 


57* 


Bengal 


779 * 


Bardwan Division 


7 ig 






Hoogly 


Ii 4 


*% 




24 Pargnnas 


957 






Faridpur 


1048 






Tippra 


ijaj 






Noakhali 


*337 


United Provinces . . 


518 


Meerui Division 


619 






MecruT 


816 






Benares 


1114 


Punjab 


287 


Gorakhpur 
Jullundhar 


876 
845 






Sialkot 


755 


Bchar 


5*1 


Saran 


1072 






Muzaflarpur 


1072 






Darbhanga 


1053 


Central Provinces 
Assam 


170 
186 


Jubbulpur 
Burma VaUcy 


*M 

JOO 


N.-W. F. P. 


**3 


Mar dan 


55 


Orissa 


*7* 


Cuttack 


556 


Ajmer Merwara 


*45 






Sindh 


94 


Larkana 


'79 



In the above table we have avoided to give the 
densities of districts in which big cities like Calcutta 
and Bombay may show a far higher density. 

With little arrangement for irrigation and practi-| 
caily no protection from floods and climatic vagaries 
is it at all possible to raise the standard of the people 
by improving agriculture? Suppose for a momenij 
all die scientific resources are made available and people 
are made literate to make use of these improvements 
and all the holdings are consolidated, cultivators be- 
come the owner of their holdings and they are absolved 
from all debts, can any expert promise them a com- 
fortable living from such a small piece of land ? We 



JO COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

strongly fed that we cannot support such a huge popu- 
lation on land. Why then labour under a false hope ? 
The only solution is to divert a large number of people 
from land to some other occupation. Let us face 
tite fact and therein lies the future planning of our 
country. We do not in any way deprecate efforts 
for agricultural improvement but the relief given 
thereby will always be small and limited. 

/In order to know the economic position of tHe 
country we generally consider the cost of cultivation 
and the income from the produce and if cutivator's 
income happens to be more than his cost we consider 
the producer to be prosperous. This is a wrong 
approach to the problem. The income of the culti- 
vator consists of the sale of the commodities only, and 
so if the net income is not enough to meet his essential 
needs, the producer must lead a miserable life howso- 
ever high nis profits may seem to be. If the total 
income from the sale of his produce comes to Rs. 500 
a year and his cost happens to be Rs. 200 he appears 
to make a profit of 50 per cent on his cost, but if Rs. 100 
axe not enough for meeting the bare necessities of his 
life he cannot be happy. Considering from this point 
of view, the shy of the holding becomes a very impor- 
tant factor to his prosperity. If the holdings are ex- 
tremely small in area, the holder will never be able 
to support himself whatever the price of his commo- 
dities. 

The case of the landless labourer is worse still 
as he has no definite income and the agricultural work 
bong of a seasonal character he cannot remain em* 
ployed during the whole of the Year. For the days 
he finds no work he must starve/ 

The above line of argument explains as to whv 
30% of the population in India goes without food. 
Most of the people, especially thc'officials, did not 
believe these figures tt first but since the time the 
started rationing, the weakness of the 



COTTAGE INDUSTRY IK NATIONAL ECONOMY JI 

position has become apparent and the Bengal famine, 
specially wherein above 2 million people dica of starva- 
tion has confirmed the conclusion. More than 70% 
of the total population of India is dependent upoc 
agriculture, be they the actual cultivators or labourers. 
The position of the other 50% may be free from anxiety 
as they are either engaged in industry or in services* 
But even amongst this proportion there are many 
small cottage producers who are struggling against 
odds to get their living. 

We calculate that the total cultivated area in our 
country can hardly support half the population living 
on land to-day and therefore 35% of die total popu- 
lation must be provided elsewhere if we want to raise 
the standard of the common man. A question arises, 
therefore, as to how to provide this vast population 
of 13.5 crorcs. This will be a population more than 
that of England or even that of United States of America. 

It is further suggested that if new big concerns 
are started we shall be able to provide the masses with 
sufficient work and shall be able to give them a living 
wage. The well-known Bombay Planners are the 
protagonists of big industries ana with all their ima- 
gination and with all the astronomical figures involved 
in their calculations they have only been able to say 
that after 15 years of planning the population will 
be distributed as follows : 

Qftxpdtional Distribution in 193 i and 1961 

1931 196* 

Millions % Wiltons % 

Agriculture 106.5 7* 1*9.7 5* 

Industry i*-i 15 J7-9 *& 

Services 19,* ij $4*7 * 6 

Total Working population .. 147-* *<* ***! o* 

Total population . . . . ,. 33 s - 1 494* * 

Page 9 part EL 



32 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

It looks very attractive when the Bombay Plan- 
ners give us the happy news that in 1962 the percent- 
age of population living on land will be reduced from, 
72% to 58% only while the people living on industry 
will increase from 15 to 26% but when we reduce the 
percentages to actual numbers as the planner^ have 
themselves done the position at once becomes dismal 
and disappointing. According to their own calcula- 
tions there were 10 crores of people living on land in 
1951, which will in 1962 increase to 12 crores, i.e., 
the number of people which according to them will 
have to be supported by land will increase by 20%. 
Even assuming an increase in production the cost of 
producing this increase will also increase under the 
well-known principle of diminishing returns and thus 
very little surplus will be really available to raise the 
standard of the people. The increase in area of course 
will always remain negligible and we should not be 
surprised if this area may decrease by giving up those 
tracts from cultivation which may not be economical 
to plough any more. The Bombay Planners envisage 
a minimum wage of labour and if that is assured, the 
cost of cultivation will go higher and in this way the 
margin of profit for the producer will be further 
curtailed. It, on the other hand, agriculturists try to 
curtail the labour cost by employing less people the 
number of people thrown out of employment will 
considerably increase. Add to this another factor 
which they themselves * have suggested. If co-opera- 
tive farming is introduced many small holders will 
have to leave their job and take to something else. 
As a matter of fact, the bigger the farms the lesser the 
number of people employed per acre. In this way 
though the margin of profit per acre may increase 
the employment will decrease. The above factors 
do not seem to have been taken into consideration by 
the Bombay Planners* If the present number of able* 
bodied persons cannot be supported by land now how 



COTTAGE INDUSTRY IN NATIONAL ECONOMY 33 

can 20% more be supported by agriculture twenty 
years after? This we fail to understand* We, how- 
ever, want to point out that we are not against improve- 
ment in agriculture but we want to warn our readers 
that this will not solve the problem, and we must find 
out the solution elsewhere, 

We can, therefore, safely conclude that as regards 
employment the ' Bombay Planners give hardly any 
satisfactory reply* Industrialisation, as understood 
by the Bombay Planners, i.e., the introduction of large- 
scale industries is not the solution of the problem. 
It may put more money in the pocket of the indus- 
trialists or may support a bit more population by indus- 
tries but it is not likely to give sufficient relief either to 
the agriculturists or to the landless labourers. r { 

Perhaps, it may be suggested that_doft%nay lie 
created for the unemployed. That can"only be done 
for the bonafide industrial labour. Wholesale pro- 
vision for the unemployed as such is never possible 
for crores of people who will be only partially 
employed. 

Mahatma Gandhi has tried to give a solution of 
the problem by village economy planning. Accord- 
ing to him, if village self-sufficient economy is revert- 
ed to everybody may be provided though the standard 
of living may not be high. We entirely agree both 
with the sentiments and the arguments expressed in 
the Gandhian Plan but we are sorry to say that we 
cannot subscribe to the doctrine of self-sufficiency 
of the villages. The world is changing fast and in 
this mechanical age no village can be made self-suffi- 
Qfittt- It would have been different when wants were 
few and the living of the people was simple but to-day 
the villages do not possess all the raw material needed 
for the manufacture of articles required to supply the 
ordinary daily needs of the people- If you want to 
utilise cars and buses for transport, if you want to use 
aeroplanes to attend the Congress sessions, you wtO 



34 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

have to manufacture all these things in big factories 
and certainly not in villages. For good or evil big 
industries have come to stay and some of the articles 
cannot be manufactured on a small scale. However, 
we agree that barring those things which cannot be 
manufactured on a small scale, other articles should 
be manufactured in cottages and in the smallest eco- 
nomic units possible. When the author of the Gandhi- 
an Plan has quoted chapters and verses from different 
countries, specially from Japan, the author seems to 
have admitted that our wants will increase and we 
should not hesitate to take use of the machines and 
contrivances whereby production may become cheap 
and varied. The quotation given from Indusco supports 
the same idea, while we fully agree with the intro- 
duction of cottage industries we advocate the use of 
machines and power and also the distribution of produce 
over a bigger area than the village itself. In certain 
cases articles in a province may have to be exported 
to another province and, mind you, our provinces 
are, in certain cases, far bigger than some of the countries 
in Europe. We should not fight shy of the use of the 
scientific discoveries and machines which have changed 
the method of production considerably and have 
revolutionised the village organisation altogether. We 
have suffered enough for our orthodoxy and we feel 
the time has come when we should change, adopt and 
assimilate what is best in scientific methods. The 
method of production in Japan and now followed, 
during the war, by China, must be an eye-opener to 
us. To harp upon everything old will ruin us still 
further. 

We are sorry to say that though the Bombay 
Planners have recognised the importance of cottage 
industries and small industries they do not seem to 
have given their blessings to this very important past 
of development. They seem to be enamoured of mass 
production and they have disregarded the salutary 



COTTAGE INDUSTRY IN NATIONAL ECONOMY JJ 

maxim of 'production for the masses and by the masses'* 
If they would have done so they would have been con- 
fronted with the logical methoa of protection of small 
industries against big industries which in the fitness 
of things they could not have advocated. 

In the definition of cottage industry we have 
tried to dispel the idea that cottage industries do not 
mean only die arts and crafts of ordinary type, but they 
may include industries in which more capital, power 
ana machinery may be used. That being so we want 
to point out that the scope of cottage industries will 
be sufficiently wider. We want to impress upon our 
readers that even at the existing scale cottage indus- 
tries are far more important than big industries. The 
number of people employed in them has been cal- 
culated by Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao. According to him the 
number of all the persons employed in large-scale in- 
dustries comes to only 14,82,000 while the number of 
workers employed in cottage industries amounts to 
61,41 ooo which is more than 4 times that of the former* 

According to the Report of the Fact Finding 
Committee total number or persons depending upon 
Handloom Industry amounts to 10 millions, out of 
which 10 lacs are actually employed. Handloom 
Industry produces zj% to 30% of the total cloth 
consumed and employs 85% of the total Textile 
Workers, while the Mill Industry employs only ij% o 
the total Textile Workers and produces 70% to 75% 
of the total cloth consumed. It clearly proves that if 
the Handloom Industry is replaced by Mill Industry 
onlv5%more people will be employed while 80% 
will be thrown out. On the other hand if the process 
is reversed and Weaving Department of the Mills be 
dosed down employment for more than zo million* 
people will be available* 

In spite of the fact that cottage industry has to* 
struggle both against big factories and imports from* 
foreign countries, the artisans in villages have 



j6 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

not been replaced. Weavers have doggedly held 
their own and still their production is not at all a mean 
figure. Leather tanning, basket making, Khandsaris, 
oil pressing, basket and mat making etc., are still in- 
dustries which give living to a very considerable 
number of people. ^ 

We can state without hesitation that in a country 
whose density of population is large, cottage indus- 
tries are the only means of giving employment to raise 
the standard of the people. Mass production in coun- 
tries like England, Germany and U.S.A., started as 
they had very small population and the developed 
export markets. We cannot have an export market 
at least for a number of years; nor we can afford to 
find large amounts of capital necessary to establish 
big factories. We certainly have our own big market 
but this will not be enough to keep big factories run- 
ning. In a poor country you cannot sell much. We 
have a very large population. Our transport is ill- 
arranged, literacy and skill is wanting and every day 
the population is increasing. In such a country the only 
metnod of employing such a huge population is the 
introduction ot cottage or small-scale industries. We 
will have to follow the footsteps of Japan in the em- 
ployment of our people. We have to earmark big 
factories only for the production of those things which 
cannot be manufactured on a small scale and without 
which we cannot supply the need of the country. Cot- 
tage industries must be the rule and big industries the 
exception. Wherever a particular operation is of 
such a nature that it cannot be done on a small scale, 
the big industry should only perform that part of the 
work and no more. To say that cottage industries 
should be complementary to big industries is an entirely 
wrong notion. Unless we aim at cottage industries 
as out first target and big industries as our second 
target we shall not be able to employ such a huge 
population* 



COTTAGE INDUSTRIES IN NATIONAL ECONOMY 37 

The Bombay Planners have themselves admitted 
that the agriculturists have to remain idle for a suffi- 
ciently long period of the year. If we cannot find 
suitable employment for these people during their 
vacant time, wherefrom their income may be raised, 
we cannot improve their standard of living. Such 
a part-time occupation can only be supplied by cottage 
industries and never by large-scale industries. 

We conclude, therefore, with the remark that 
the salvation of our country lies in the development 
of cottage and small scale industries and nothing else. 
This is our only hope and the only solution of our 
economic ills. 



CHAPTER III 

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES 

OF COTTAGE INDUSTRIES AS 

AGAINST LARGE-SCALE 

INDUSTRIES 

There is a general belief that articles produced 
on a large scale are always cheaper. It is not quite 
correct. In this chapter we shall try to show the 
merits and demerits ot cottage and small-scale indus- 
tries so that the readers may themselves decide what 
type of industry is suited for a certain set of circum- 
stances. 

Before we enumerate the advantages of cottage 
industries we should first make it clear as to what do 
we mean by cheapness. In considering the price of 
an article we should always tajce the price at which it 
is available to the consumer X The cost of production 
of an article may~Be aulte low but when it reaches 
the consumer the article may become very expensive. 
There are a number of weeds useful in medicine which 
you can have merely for the asking from a forest 
or from the fields but if you want to purchase them 
from some shop you will have to pay very high price 
for the same. The reason is not far to seek. The 
seller will have to get it collected at some cost and 
then will have to stock it safely till the time of sale* 
Besides this if the article has very little sale it will 
occupy space unnecessarily and the shopkeeper will 
have to incur expenses on that score. The lesser the sale 
of an article, the higher will be its price. If an article 
is brought for sale from an outside market, the seller 

have to incur all the expenses of handling, packing, 



COTTAGE INDUSTRIES AND LARGE-SCAUE INDUSTRIES 39 

transport and octroi or other taxes before the article 
is available for sale. Sometimes ail these factors are 
not taken into account before an idea is formed of the 
cheapness of an article. We hope the readers will 
have all these points before their mind while consider- 
ing the merits or demerits of articles manufactured 
on a cottage scale. 

We now enumerate the main advantages of the 
cottage industries : 

(1) Small capital required A cottage industry can 
be started with a small capital and this, it will be agreed, 
is the main advantage of tne system of production known 
as cottage industry. To start a factory large amount 
of capital is needed whether all that amount is invest- 
ed by one man or is subscribed in the form of shares 
by many. A cottage worker, on the other hand, re- 
quires a small place to start his work, only a set ol 
simple tools and very little raw material! and has tc 
keep only a small investment locked up in firushec 
goods. A carpenter, a smith or a weaver can start 
nis job with a small investment while a factory re- 
quires a big building and a large machinery and equip- 
ment to start with. In days of depression a cotta^ 
worker has to lose very little wTuITirKctpry or big, 
concern has to lose a lot in the form of interest on 
money invested as well as by way of depreciation of 
plant and building. 

(2) Variety of desigps Perhaps one of the greatcs 
advantage an small-scale industries is that the workei 
can apply his skill to each individual piece and thin 
can create any number of designs. It costs him nothing 
extra if every piece he produces has its own design 
For a machine it is very difficult to change fron 
one design to another without incurring heavy ex 
pense. For example, take the case of prints. If a 
printer has got some skill he can print his doth with, 
any number of designs bj simply changing his stenciL 
If he ues a card board tor stencil it costs him only & 



40 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

little labour and time, which he has in plenty. In 
case of wooden stencil too the price of the new stencil 
will be vety little in comparison to the extra price 
he can get for his new piece. On the other hand, the 
cost of a copper plate or copper stencil will be suffi- 
ciently high and will not pay the manufacturer unless 
thousands of yards are printed in that design. This 
is one of the main reasons why printed cloth made in 
cottage in India has not only a wide sale in this country 
but is also in demand in the whole world. If cloth 
printing had been properly organised, we are sure, 
it would have become an important cottage industry 
of the country. The same may be said of the coat- 
ings, saris etc., and so with the utensils and other articles. 
Of course from that point of view the worker should 
either have an artistic outlook himself or may take the 
help of an artist. ^ 

', (3)* Local market Generally the cottage worker 
caters for local needs only and he is, therefore, in a 
position to know the taste of the consumer and thus 
cater for his demands. iThe close contact between 
ithc consumer and the producer always pays in business- 
If a certain article has gone out of fashion he can take 
to producing another. Under such circumstances 
the manufacturer has not to rely upon his ingenuity 
alone but he can easily have a talk with his intelligent 
consumers face to face. \He can prepare articles 
according to the taste of his consumers and can make 
necessary improvements in them| Such a manu- 
facturer can easily understand the taste and the require* 
meats of his consumers and can easily comply with 
them. As regards big factories though the psychology of 
the consumer is studied by their organisers yet generally 
the consumer is asked to take to the articles manufactured, 
It is true that the knowledge and the experience of the 
organiser of a big industry ate far greater than those of 
the cottage industry worker but the former cannot afford 
to have a lace to face talk with the consumer an<J thus is 



COTTAGE INDUSTRIES AND LARGE-SCALE INDUSTRIES 4! 

not in a position to know his requirements and likings. 
Exporting countries employ travellers who go 
about and study the taste of different markets but they 
are poor substitutes for the first-hand information 
available to the small man. The knowledge of the 
traveller, in the first instance, takes time to reach the 
manufacturer and then it again takes time to adjust the 
manufacturing process. Besides it is not the same 
thing as direct approach to the consumer. Of course 
the cottage worker who caters for outside markets 
has the same disadvantage as the big manufacturer, 

(4) Cost of marketing Small man has not to incur 
the heavy charges of export nor has he to take the risk 
of damage in transport. He has not to pay insurance 
charges to cover these risks nor has he to find a chain 
of dealers in that commodity. \^The customs duty and 
other charges in different localities generally differ and 
the big manufacturer has to keep a record of different 
methods in vogue at different places^ Though the 
cost of producing an article on a small scale may some- 
times be high but it is generally compensated by low 
expenses with which it can be placed in the market. 

(5) Overhead TheAiall man is his own labourer and 
manufacturer while in the case of a big concern an 
article has to pass into many hands before it finally 
reaches the consumers* Very expensive staff has to 
be appointed to look after its organisation. In most 
cases organisation expenses known as 'overhead* con* 
stitutc a big percentage of the enure cost of manufacture. 
If the work is not properly organised a paying business 
may easily turn into a losing concern. 

Small man being his own master looks after his 
own job. His supervision charges are nil. 

(6) Destruction in case of emergency The present 
War has shown that big establishments can be easily 
destroyed and the whole economy of a country dis- 
turbed by concentrated bombarding of a few locali- 
ties only. This has become an excellent device to 



42 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

paralyse the enemy. China has been able to fight 
against Japan for a number of years before any help 
reached from outside. This would not have beerr 
possible had China depended upon big factories alone. 
China changed her manufacturing places very quickly and 
at a very little expense. As a matter of fact China was 
teaching to its population the organisation and manu- 
facture of small articles even during her war with Japan. 
Through this very method of production she evolved 
to supply the necessities of her army and people. To 
fight a well-equipped enemy, who possessed up-to-date 
weapons of destruction was a very difficult job but all 
that has been successfully done because most of the 
things needed were done on such a small scale that 
factories could be changed overnight from one place 
to toother. 

War is just over and the countries have not yet 
got enough time to settle down but we are sure, the 
wonderful resistance of China, which was only possible 
due to small-scale manufacture, will be calmly studied 
by the nations and in the light of this experiment many 
big-scale industries may have to be replaced by small 
ones. The Indusco arrangement of China has startled 
the world and has proved the superiority of the eco- 
s nomics of small-scale manufacture. 

Aeroplane bombing can do very little damage to 
small-scale industries as it can only damage a small 
unit. To take industrial factories underground may 
not be easy, besides its shifting may be very costly. 
To destroy an industry scattered in small units over a 
large area is not an easy job, while a big factory con* 
centrated in a small area can be bombed and disabled. 

(7) Resistance against loss Though it is generally 
believed that a penniless man cannot resist the risk of 
loss against a big organised manufacturer but it is not 
really so. No article can be sold at a lower price than 
the cost of raw material from which it is made. The 
loss is, therefore, what the labour and overhead charges 



COTTAGE INDUSTRIES AND LARGE-SCALE INDUSTRIES 4) 

cost to the manufacture. A small-scale manufacture! 
can lower his labour charges and thus even in times 
of difficulty can continue his profession, as he incuts 
no overhead expenses while the manufacturer on a big 
scale cannot afford to exhaust his capital and ruin him- 
self. His labour has to be paid and perhaps will have 
to be paid at the same rate. Factory labour generally 
prefers to go out of employment than accept a low 
salary during the period of depression. 

Is it not very striking that all the weaving mills 
together have not been able to wipe off the weaver ? 
He is still in that job and we do not think he will be 
ousted up to the time he is not offered a more attractive 
or more paying work. It is true that his earnings 
have considerably dwindled and his standard of living 
has gone down but all the same he has doggedly persisted 
and has succeeded in remaining at his place. He would 
have fared far better if he would not have depended 
for his raw material (yarn) on his competitor* 

Though no outside help, as is generally given 
by legislature in the shape of tariff, railway freight, 
etc., has been accorded to the small man yet he has 
held his own. If similar help had been given to him, 
his condition would have been far better. 

(8) Independence Man is not only an economic 
entity but he is a living organism. He is not governed 
by money alone. Sentiment also plays quite a big 
part in his life. Compare the labourer of the factory 
with the cottage manufacturer. The factory labourer 
leaves his home, has to come to the factory, works 
incessantly for eight hours, has to bear the rebukes 
of his supervisors and has to put in a very hard work 
of a boring nature. After his work is finished he has 
to arrange for his scanty food and has to live in a 
crowded slum. He may get a higher income than the 
cottage worker but income is not all. The latter is 
the master of himself, he can work, stop it if he likes, 
enjoy hcjme life at pleasure and can meet his friends 



44 COTTAGE AND SMALL SCALE INDUSTRIES 

as and when they come. The word 'independence' has 
a real meaning for him. The low wage that he earns 
is really the price of this freedom. Are not a few* 
coppers a low price indeed for one's independence? 
Many will not sell it and obstinately persist to preserve 
it. This is one of the main reasons for the survival 
of cottage workers. 

M National life enriched It is regretted that the 
benefit to national character provided for by small- 
scale industry has altogether been ignored. Very 
rich and very poor people always exist side by side, 
similarly idiots and intelligent giants but they are en- 
riched when the standard of small man is raised. A 
great injury to the national cause has been inflicted 
by factory system in this respect. What is a labourer 
one who carries out the behest of the master or super- 
visor without thinking for himself. He has no ini- 
tiative and no imagination. He does not develop 
his artistic or creative faculties nor he is interested 
in making any improvement in his task. As a matter 
of fact he can do nothing as the work is done by machine 
about which he understands so little. He has to pass 
through a mill of drudgery which leaves him exhausted 
and fatigued. After strenuous work of eight hours 
he tries to find enjoyment outside and without finding 
any he takes to drink and other such bad habits which 
makes the nation still poorer. In other countries 
the evil was realised long ago and continuation schools, 
culture centres, etc., were started to develop human 
faculties but it is admitted that these are poor sub- 
stitutes for the natural aptitude which used to be ex* 
messed by the workers through their manufacture. 
The condition in India is just the same as it was when 
the machine age started in England, In India in in- 
dustrial concerns welfare work and cultural develop- 
ment arc missing and we recruit labour without eating 
10 the least for the intellectual development of labour. 
If in foreign countries the welfare works are not con- 



COTTAGE INDUSTRIES AND LARGE-SCALE INDUSTRIES 4 5 

sidered up to the mark, conditions in India must be 
considered to be still worse. 

Whatever arrangement be made all such arrange- 
ments will remain poor substitutes for the self-attained 
development that a cottage manufacturer provides for 
himselt during the course of his job. 

^(10) No loss in strikes and lockouts Strikes and 
lockouts are of daily occurrence in big factories. Huge 
losses are suffered thereby and naturally all these losses 
have to be utlimately paid for by the consumer. In 
the case of small manufacturer there is hardly any labour 
employed and so no question of strike arises. The re- 
gular struggle for getting better facilities and earning 
a higher wage are the daily features of the big scale 
organisations and they have nowhere disappeared in 
the world. Labour is asserting itself more and more 
every day and the labour government which is in 
power in England at present points out the direction in 
which the wind is blowing. Labourers and their leaders 
believe in the nationalisation of big industries 
which simply means that labour should be its own 
master a condition which always exists in small-scale 
industries. With the labour unrest on one side and 
the atomic bomb on the other the world seems to be 
reverting to the old days of small industries. 

(i i) More work per mad The enthusiasm, earnest- 
ness and interest shown by the small manufacturer in a 
work which he does entirely for his sole profit cannot be 
expected from a mercenary soldier of industry the or- 
dinary labourer. In a big-scale factory labourer is only 
interested in his wage and not the work itself and there- 
fore the turn out per head will generally be less 
than that of the worker-owner in a small organisa- 
tion. While comparing these two means of produc- 
tion it should not be lost sight of that had the small man 
possessed the same equipment as is available to a worker 
in a big-scale industry the output must have been 
many times more. 



40 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

(12) Manufacture in small quantities It is an advantage 
when either the article is very costly or it is not much in 
demand. To give one instance only manufacture of 
filter paper by a big factory will not be paying as the 
quantity consumed is very small. It will, however, be 
a very paying proposition to a cottage worker who can- 
not onty meet the demand but can also guarantee the 
quality of the same. 

7" (15) Variation in work Though specialised labour 
is considered to be an advantage in big factories 
but from individualistic consideration it is one of the 
main disadvantages. When a labourer works day in and 
day out on one operation only he feels bored by the mo- 
notony of work and naturally seeks enjoyment in either 
drinking or gambling in some other unhealthy occupa- 
tion which ruins his life and also that of the society in 
which he lives. If these undesirable habits are traced 
their cause will be found in the monotony of work which 
exhausts the labourer and forces him to take to such evil 
ways. 

I (14) Distribution of industries in different localities 
Government has realised now that industries are being 
congested in a few big towns with the result that wealth 
is not evenly distributed and labour is not well provided 
for. Traffic cannot be properly organised. It seems 
government will take some step against this irregular 
growth of industries and will make a scheme by which 
systematic growth of industries may be possible in 
cfiflerent areas. They have realised now that in order 
to give employment to the inhabitants of all localities 
it is essential that factories be evenly distributed 
throughout the land provided raw material and other 
advantages are available. 

(i j) Cms man employment .-If it is desired to provide 
employment to all and not to make only a few persons 
rich, cottage industry is the only solution. Cottage 
industry gives the largest employment to the people* 
There are very few industries which cannot be profitably 



COTTAGE INDUSTRIES AND LARGE-SCALE INDUSTRIES 47 

carried on on a small scale* 

There are certainly many disadvantages also under 
which the small manufacturer suffers. We shall try 
to enumerate these categorically below: 

(i) Capital A big organisation can command 
money at a very cheap rate of interest, first on account 
of the assets it possesses and secondly, it can get accom- 
modation against the finished article. If the condition 
of industry becomes depressed still advances can be 
availed or against block capital. 

We feel, however, that this state of affairs exists 
more on account of the combination of factories along 
with the incorporation of the companies. We in India 
do not differentiate one from the other as the large-scale 
factories are not individual concerns but are generally in- 
corporated. If the small man starts with sufficient 
capital incorporating himself in a limited concern 
things are bound to improve. 

(2) Expert experience The availability of expert 
knowledge is a great advantage to the mass producer 
both from technical as well as administrative point of 
view. He can not only afford to engage an expert for 
every responsible job but he can also place sufficient 
money at the disposal of the expert to collect informa- 
tion on a point through which manufacture may improve 
either in general get-up, in cheapness or in any othei 
form or shape. For an ordinary producer slight varia- 
tion in a particular process or formula will be very! 
difficult not so much due to his conservatism as to the 
fact that he can ill afford to make a new experiment 
in which a deviation is needed. Besides he possesses 
neither the means nor the capability to find out and 
adopt up-to-date methods of manufacture. 

(?) Up-to-date machinery In the world inventions 
are progressing fast and the process of manufac- 
ture is changing every day mechanically as well 
as chemically. In the first place a small man cannot 



48 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

afford to study up-to-date information, even if he does 
he cannot easily put it to advantage while the literature 
available to the big organiser gives him a great deal 
of information and therefore as soon as any new process 
is worked out anywhere he can at once contact the in- 
vention and if the invention is really an improvement 
on the machinery he is working with he can get it imme- 
diately changed and thus brains working at long dis- 
tances constantly help a big concern which are not 
available to the small-scale manufacture. 

(4) Marketing A producer of large quantities of 
material can easily afford to advertise, send travellers 
and appoint agents at different centres and the ex- 
penses incurred on ail these items when spread over the 
quantity involved come to a very small percentage. 
Nobody can exaggerate the value of advertisement nor 
the value of marketing. The small man knows to his 
cost difficulty of selling his wares. He is always in the 
hands of the shopkeeper who often cheats him and plays 
false with him. While a factory agent may have no 
other business but represent only a firm and thus may be 
a whole-time servant and thus is expected to know his 
job well. He is generally the man who knows his 
locality and the consumers in that line an advantage 
which may prove an asset in the long run. 

(5) Cheap raw material A person who purchases 
in large quantities always purchases cheap. He can 
easily bargain, he can directly reach the producer and 
can afford to know the lowest rate at which he may be 
able to secure goods. He can insist as to the quality of 
article purchased and can reject the same if it is below 
the standard. All this a small man is not able to do. 
He can afford to put one man against the other in tender- 
ing the raw material and thus get the benefit of cutting 
the prices. 

(6) Power of r/^V/Jw^-Ccrtainly a big man has 
more power of resistance than the small man. In case of 
depression he can afford to dose down or wait for better 



COTTAGE INDUSTRIES AND IARGE-SCAXE INDUSTRIES 49 

days. He can know the market where still his articles 
may be in demand and take advantage of it. 

(7) By-products The quantity of waste in big 
factories is very large and ii any use is made of them it 
becomes a source of income. Big factories, therefore, 
always try to find out new uses for their by-products. 
In a small industrial concern on the other hand, it is not 
worth while to spend money on any such investigation. 
In this way big factories always add to the multiplication 
of new articles or methods of manufacture. Some fac- 
tories have found their by-products to be more paying 
than the original articles they were manufacturing. Coal- 
tar which used to be a nuisance has now become the 
raw material for all types of dyes. 

(8) Big industries essential In these days of scienti- 
fic development there are many articles which cannot be 
made on a small scale and those articles have become 
necessary and essential for our future development. 
To give only a few instances, caustic soda cannot 
be manufactured on a small scale though the article 
is required in everyday use. Liquification of gases 
cannot be done in a cottage. The manufacture of boilers 
steam engines and aeroplanes cannot be done on a 
small scale. 



CHAPTER IV 

DIFFICULTIES AND HANDICAPS/ 

There are a number of difficulties and Handicaps 
under which the cottage worker has to work. Some 
of them are enumerated below: 

Supply of raw material, 

Finance, 

Technical knowledge, 

Efficiency, 

Marketing, 

Other difficulties. 




J ra Mat* r *d* This is one of the chief 
difficulties of the small worker. He gets supplies which 
are neither reliable in quality nor adequate in quantity. 
He has to use bad and unreliable stuff and even that he 
has to purchase at a higher price. This question of 
the availability of raw material becomes very important 
if we seriously mean to develop our cottage industries. 
The question can be discussed from the following 
points of view : (x) An article which is a product of 
Dig industries but is a raw material for cottage industry. 
It may either be a produce of this country or an imported 
one nrom abroad; (2) Raw material for the purchase 
of which big and small industries are rivals whether 

We would have very much ukcd to discuss thiy 
question for each cottage industry separately bat the 
space at our disposal being limited we shall try to be 
as brief as possible. 

(i) The most important of all cottage industries 
is the group relating to the manufacture of Textiles. 



DIFFICULTIES AND HANDICAPS } 1 

All yam used by cottage workers in weaving cloth is 
either hand-spun or machine-spun. In the case of hand 
spun yarn, it is either supplied through the All-India 
Spinners' Association or by the spinners themselves. 
Weavers have, however, no control over the supply of 
this yarn and we propose to deal with this question 
when we discuss individual industries and improve- 
ments. However, the quantity of this yarn is not much. 
The supply of mill-made yarn is, however, very 
important. Weavers cannot afford to combine and 
purchase yarn direct from the mills and so they have 
to depend upon yarn dealers for its supply. During 
the War, the supply was so drastically cut down that 
yarn almost disappeared from the market. Black market 
prices were many times higher than those lixed by the 
Government and a large number of poor weavers had 
to remain out of employment. Those who wanted 
to get yarn had either to pay exorbitant rates or had 
to work for the dealer who would sell cloth manufac- 
tured under his own management. There sprang up 
thousands of handloom factories or weaving establish- 
ments which were nothing else but a method of exploit- 
ing the weaver's labour to dealer's advantage. It 
may be said that this was an emergency. But even 
in normal times most of the weavers are supplied yam 
on the clear understanding that they will have to work 
for the yam dealer or cloth merchant. Those who 
took yarn from the cloth dealers had to pay higher 
rates tor yarn, pay exorbitant rate of interest and had 
to be contented with the lowest rate of wages. Those 
who insisted not to work for the shopkeeper had to 
pay a still higher rate for the yam ana if they had to 
take it on credit had further to pay a still higher rate 
of interest* The yam supplied to the weavers is usually 
less in weight, less in length, and inferior in quality 
and sometimes the mills also connive at and assist these 
methods of the dealers. In the case of coloured yam, 
fraud is mote prevalent than in the case of undycd yam* 



52 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

As a weaver is generally illiterate he is a bad bargainer 
and his ignorance is exploited to the extreme. Weaving 
Mills can only sell yarn after satisfying their own dc- 
mands and generally they first sell their rejections only. 
Thus the poor weaver does not generally get enough 
yarn nor of good quality. Besides the profit on yarn, 
freight, octroi, and fraud has to be paid for by him 
against his mill competitor who had to pay none of these 
and in spite of all this he has still to sell at competitive 
prices of the mills against him. He cannot get ade- 
quate quantities nor the correct weight and nor the 
right type and still has to compete against an organised 
industry. It is really surprising that he exists. In 
the case of foreign yarn ir he purchases the smallest 
packet intact the weaver is sure or the quality and weight 
out of course has to pay a very high price if he happens 
to purchase on credit which he generally does. 

The greatest pity of this is that the mill owners 
try to justify all these defects. The law on this point 
is very defective and not at all effective. We cannot 
expect the weaver to leave his business and go to court 
and whenever he has gone there he has been made to 
realise that long purse always wins. From the history 
of textile trade one is startled to find that in the last 
war as well as in the present the yardage of cloth pre- 
pared in the handlooms has gone down while that of 
the mills has gone up. This loss has been traced to 
the restricted supply of the yarn to the weaver by the 
mills. 

The same applies to yarn of silk, artificial silk or 
the like. 

He has also to suffer from shortage of any parti- 
cular tvpe of yarn, which may not be available at a 
particular time and in such a case has to change his 
scheme of manufacture. It is not only his poverty 
which is exploited but his ignorance is not a Little source 
ofhisMifficuhy. 

*amc difficulty is experienced by fhe hosiery 



mFFICULTlES AND HANDICAPS 5 3 

man or the rope maker or the like who wants to use yarn 
as a raw material of his industry. 

No better is the case of those who utilise leather 
as their raw material. The small man is at a disadvantage 
both in getting a Quality article and also in getting it at 
a proper rate. In tne supply of block glass for further 
blowing of cloth for cap making and of brass for sheet 
metal working the position is not less difficult. In the case 
of dyer (trro) the position is very serious. There are so 
many types of colours that come in the market and the pro- 
cess of aying always differs both in the use of mordants 
employed and processing. The dyer cannot afford to 
purchase a complete closed tin. He has to purchase it in 
small quantities and is always cheated both in money and 
material. Poor man ! he is confused when he finds that 
a certain lot has not behaved in the same manner as a 
similar one behaved on a previous occasion. 

A cutlery manufacturer has to be contented with 
the type of iron or steel as supplied by the dealer. If 
a right supply of steel for different tools, knives and im- 
plements would have been made the small worker would 
not have allowed the foreign manufacturer to encroach 
upon this market. A dealer in certain cases may not 
have to be blamed as his ignorance may be just as colossal 
as that of the cottage worker but if the shopkeeper 
cares to help him, he can certainly do so. New articles 
are daily flooding the market but instead of helping the 
small man they confuse him more and more and the poor 
man has but to rely upon his supplier. He cannot but 
believe the latter. 

(2) When two rivals want to purchase a certain 
commodity, naturally the wealthier will be at an advan- 
tage. Compare the case of an oilmill owner with that of 
the village oilman. The former knows full well that his 
raw material is a seasonal produce and so he must pur- 
chase his stock for the whole year. He knows the cheap- 
est market and the prevailing rates of that commodity. 
Besides all these advantages he can further fortify him- 



54 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

self by collecting information as to the oil contents of 
the new crop from different markets. While purchasing 
he can insist upon purchasing the driest oil seeds. 
Against all these advantages compare the position of 
the small oilman. He cannot afford to purchase his 
stock for the year and has to purchase every day and 
even then on credit and naturally he has to go to the 
shopkeeper who alone can oblige him. The best crop 
is already purchased by the oil mills and it is only the 
inferior stock which remains available. Since the price 
always goes up after the harvest, oil seeds deteriorate and 
oil contents are affected. The result is that the small man 
pays high and gets bad article. He not only gets less oil 
because his kolhu is inefficient but he gets also less on 
account of the bad seed that he is forced to crush. 

The same is the case with the small tanner. All 
good hides are taken away by the factories which can 
afford to purchase directly from the slaughter houses 
or from big merchants. The village tanner can hardly 
purchase a few hides at a time ana has to be contented 
with whatever is available. 

Similar is the case of the wool manufacturer. Small 
man can neither afford to grade his wool nor can he 
afford to get the best article. He has to remain contented 
with whatever is left. In most cases he has to purchase 
the worst material at the highest price. 

We can multiply instances but it is quite enough 
for our purpose. It must be admitted that the small 
man has to work with inferior raw material and has to 
pay higher price than his competitor. 

Take the case of leather trade barks, myrobalan and 
other articles required for tanning. They are all sold 
after adulteration and this adulteration is of many kinds. 
This being so they do not behave the same way and the 
quality of tanned leather differs for no fault of the worker. 
In the manufacture of gold and silver thread, alloys 
of different proportion have to be used and a guaranteed 
article is not available with the result that the poor man 



DIFFICULTIES AND HANDICAPS 5 J 

has to suffer for the fault of the supplier. In shellac 
also adulteration with rosin and other articles is very 
common. 

Instances from different industries may be multi- 
plied to show that the small man has not only to pay 
higher rates for his raw material but he does not get 
it in unadulterated form. Thus the finished article 
goes on deteriorating in quality and adding to its 
cost. Though the expensiveness of the raw material 
may be traced to his financial weakness but the question 
of quality requires legislative help. In foreign coun- 
tries one can be sure of the quality as no adulteration is 
possible. This is in no way due to the honesty of the deal- 
ers as things were as bad there as they are nere but the 
governments of those countries saw that laws were enact- 
ed and effectively carried out. In India in the first place 
laws to protect the poor cannot easily be made and even 
when they are made they remain ineffective. Govern- 
ment can send to prison political workers with or with- 
out trial and can find sufficient staff for this purpose, 
but they cannot find ways and means to control the 
dealers who play havoc in destroying the quality of an 
article. When adulteration in articles which affects the 
physical condition of the people, is rampant and the 
government has not cared to stop it in spite of the 
pronouncements of Royal Commissions it seems to be 
a dream to expect any help in protecting the small 
man from the dealer. 

~ii order to make any law against adulteration 
effective samples have to be taken by thousands, 
standards of purity have to be fixed ana honest exe- 
cutive officers have to be employed. Offenders have 
not to be let off by simple fines but must be sent 
to jails to enjoy the hospitality of government ; unless 
this is done things will never improve* Government 
should take interest in the small man and should protect 
him from fraud and deceit. 

Besides the above there is a general 



j6 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

that the Municipal Boards are playing havoc in des- 
troying our industries. They charge octroi duties 
on raw material and do nof allow rebate when the 
finished articles are sent out. If rules are framed 
in this connection they are not administered with 
sympathy. It is a pity that Municipal Boards do not 
try to help industries which are likely to make them 
prosperous. We are definitely of opinion that the 
system of indirect taxation has outlived its utility 
and must be done away with. If it is allowed to re- 
main for some time more Government should frame 
special rules for the protection of industries. 

(3) Under this category come some other arti- 
cles of ordinary trade. Here too the small man has to 
contend against many obstacles. All such material 
may be divided into two types- one indigenous and the 
other foreign. As far as indigenous articles are con- 
cerned adulteration and high prices are the main 
defects. In the race for cheapness all type of rubbish 
is mixed and then adulterated articles are sold to the 
disadvantage of every body. The worst of it is that 
the names of these adulterants are not even known* 
and their behaviour in processing cannot, therefore, 
be anticipated. An article may give good results in 
one case and in the other may prove to be quite hope- 
less. It seems to be desirable, therefore, that steps 
should be taken to control the supply of the raw mate- 
rial and shopkeepers should be licensed for the sale 
of different articles and if even then any of them sells 
adulterated articles his licence should be cancelled and 
otherwise adequately punished. 

Even in cases when the supply originates from 
a Government or Government-controlled concern 
itself things are not at all satisfactory. Take the case 
of minor products collected from forests* The 
method so far adopted in different provinces is to auc- 
tion the annual produce to the highest bidders. Arti- 
cles ate collected either under the direct arrangement 



DIFFICULTIES AND HANDICAPS 57 

of the highest bidder or through such petty contrac- 
tors. If the contractor happens to be interested in 
using the article himself it is apparent that he will uti- 
lise the best quality himself and only sell the refuse. 
Again these articles are collected by the labourer who 
is paid for the quantity he collects and not for the quality 
of material collected. He, therefore, naturally is in- 
terested in the amount of his collection and not at 
all in its quality. Adulteration in these products, 
therefore, starts from its very source. Out of the 
material so collected better quality is again purchased 
by big firms and the small man is left with the choice 
of purchasing the worst of the refuse in the market. 
As the small man can only afford to buy from the 
nearest market and in the smallest quantity possible, 
the dealer from whom he buys generally further adul- 
terates the already adulterated article before he sells* 

There are a number of articles from the forest 
areas which come under the above category. Let 
us take only two things gums and the tanning mate- 
rial. Different gums nave different qualities and one 
cannot be substituted by the other. A printer of 
doth requires a different variety from the one re- 
quired by the inkmaker, while pasting requires quite 
a different variety. Bark and other articles used as 
tanning material have also different properties and when 
they are adulterated with unknown articles it is dear 
that their behaviour cannot be what it ought to be* 
And, therefore, an industry in which these articles are 
used as chemicals cannot produce standard goods* 
But if the forest department collects such articles under 
its own supervision and emphasis is laid on quality 
small man would be considerably helped. 

In case of foreign-made articles things are 
generally pure if they are sold in original packing. At 
any rate one brand is likely always to behave in the 
same way. Since small man cannot afford to pur- 
chase in original packing he is generally exploited and 



5 8 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

even foreign articles are sold to him in adulterated form. 
A few chemicals if not properly stored lose their 
efficiency but a cottage worker cannot make an en- 
quiry into that. Sometimes on account of new dis- 
coveries articles themselves arc changed and their 
method of use has to be changed along with it. Manu- 
facturers arrange to explain the new product to big 
factories at their own expense, for example, they supply 
free samples for trial and send their own chemists to 
demonstrate the usefulness of the new article but they 
do not and cannot do so to the isolated cottage work- 
ers, who arc left to learn the new process from the 
ordinary small dealer who himself cannot understand 
it and therefore cannot afford to give any help to the 
worker who purchases from him. He can pick up 
something from the advertisement literature on the 
subject, but unfortunately he is almost always illiterate 
and cannot make any use of the available information 
simply because it is in writing. 

Finance The cottage worker is very poor and 
he has hardly any assets upon which he can rely to 
offer as security against credit. He possesses only his 
labour. He is so poor that he cannot keep his pro- 
mise. Advances made to him for productive pur- 
poses are generally spent on his own daily needs. He 
gets hopelessly into debt and sheer desperation turns 
him into a fatalist. He cannot believe that he will 
ever see better days. His earnings are so low that 
even by miserliness he cannot be above misery. For 
want of money he has to purchase his material at a 
high price. He has no staying power and cannot sell 
in the best market. He thus loses both ways. 

Banks do not give him credit. Philanthropists do 
not help him. He is, therefore, always driven to take 
advances from such dealers who besides charging a very 
high tate of interest supply the raw material at high 
prices and force him to sell his goods to them at 
considerably lower than current market rates. Thus 



DIFFICULTIES AND HANDICAPS 5 

at every step he would like to make some money out 
of the hopelessness of the poor man. Co-operative 
societies were the only hope of his liberation but 
unfortunately they have generally failed. 

We are convinced that the outlook on life is 
the main cause of this hopelessness. If we can once 
change his outlook things will soon change. This 
is not the only country where things arc bad but even 
in England there was a time when the artisan was in 
the same predicament. If we once make him literate 
and replace his submissive fatalism by a robust out- 
look on life half of the battle will be won. If we want 
to organise industries we shall have to provide money 
to them and at very low rates* 

We have elsewhere dealt with the scheme for 
financing cottage industries, here we would only like 
to impress that in a less paying industry the rate of 
interest ought to have been lower but the poor man is 
fortunate if he gets credit even at 12%. No industry 
can afford to pay such a high rate of interest much less 
an industry which has an organised competitor at 
every step. 

Technical foiow/edgtj^^jhes^ of scientific 

^ 



. Besides, fashions and wants are not stable. 
ucnTTSjpiclly changing world, has no place for crude 
and primitive methods. No worker can afford to go 
to foreign countries to learn up-to-date methods and 
to attend vocational schools wherein he should learn 
improved methods of manufacture. A few schools 
only have been started so far and even in them the 
touchers do not generally take a practical view, nor is 
their knowledge up-to-date, and therefore the workers 
do not pin their faith in so-called experts. ) 

As soon as a new substitute for an article is made 
a large number of workers are thrown out of employ- 
ment. Whenever a new method of manufacture is 
evolved, the cottage worker is hit hard. Nature does 



60 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

not want to keep alive those who do not move for* 
ward. Some of our old workers and industries have 
already disappeared and others are disappearing. 
Dyers have mostlv disappeared. Small glass blowers 
do not exist. Village art of soap making is being re- 
placed by the machine-made soap. Oilman is living 
a precarious life. Even in remote villages grinding 
is done by small power mills. Khandsaris are replaced 
by sugar factories so on and so forth. It is only 
perhaps in the textile trade that a good many old work- 
ers still survive. 

We confess that some of them must disappear 
under any conditions but if proper guidance and tech- 
nical knowledge would have been imparted, organised 
cottage worker would have given a better fight and 
would have taken to improvements more easily by 
adjusting himself to new circumstances. In spite of 
his illiteracy, conservatism and his secretness we are 
sure a great deal could be done to improve [his lot. 
In arts which require more chemical knowledge than 
mechanical contrivance, improvement is quite easy. 
Even in mechanical methods small machines can be 
contrived to meet his small needs. If some of the 
old industries have not died out it is only the result of 
the doggedness of the workers themselves who pre- 
ferred starvation to taking to other walks of life. 
It is only in a few cases that any outside help has been 
rendered to equip the worker, to fight his battle more 
efficiently. 

Scientific discoveries have had far reaching effects 
on the methods of manufacture. There is no method 
by which this knowledge is made available to our 
workmen nor any arrangement by which it can be 
made use of. 

In other countries, dubs, associations and so- 
cieties of workers are formed where workers talk and 
discuss their difficulties and try to solve them. But 
the Panchayats of our workmen meet only to dis- 



DIFFICULTIES AND HANDICAPS 6l 

cuss the outcasting of a person for breaking the un- 
written rigid code of conduct of the society. So-called 
public or Government experts do not generally talk in 
the language of the worker and therefore are rightly 
treated as aliens. Their advice is always taken with a 
pinch of salt. It is but essential to make arrangement 
tor collecting and disseminating; scientific information 
amongst cottage workers. Tneir conservatism and 
fatalism will soon disappear if by introducing new 
methods we better their lot. 

Efficiency The efficiency of a cottage worker in 
output is daily decreasing not because of his laziness ; 
but because his rival has improved his efficiency by j 
using a more effective machine or a new method of \ 
manufacture. 

The Government tried to provide the weaver 
with improved tools and looms but we are told that 
the conservatism of the people did not allow these to 
be used. It does not seem to be correct. An incident 
will make it quite clear. In Madras improved looms 
were provided for the workers with which they could 
turn out much more cloth per day than they used to 
prepare on their looms. For some time the introduc- 
tion was welcomed but by and by the workers found 
that they had to sell more and this being difficult they 
could not earn even as much as they had been doing 
before. They held a Panchayat and burnt all the looms 
and took to their old method. Though it is an ex- 
treme case but it clearly points out that the introduc* 
tion of a new machine or tool can only be adopted 
when its consequences are provided for. Piecemeal 
improvements may not be ueeful and therefore be 
resented. We require the best engineers and chemists 
to help him. Engineers should put their heads to- 
gether to study principles of up-to-date machines and 
try to work them on small scale so that an efficient and 
suitable contrivance which may be within the means 
of the small worker be evolved. Similarly the chemist 



6* COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

should teach the cottage worker to follow the latest 
process of manufacture. 

Daily wages of the artisans are decreasing and 
sometimes it pays him to become an ordinary labourer. 
It is a very bad state of affairs. We are losing skilled 
labour and losing a class of people who can prove an 
asset to the nation. We are adding to the number of 
the unemployed and thus hastening the national crisis. 
It is a very serious matter and requires the attention of 
everybody. 

Periodical exhibitions and permanent schools 
for training are good but artisans can only take ad- 
vantage of them if confidence is first created in them 
about their utility. The first condition to attain our 
object is that the gap between the expert and the 
worker be narrowed and both of them are brought 
to talk at the same level. The workers must have rail 
confidence in the expert and should place all their 
difficulties before him. These schools and exhibi- 
tions should also be the meeting grounds of the work- 
ers, say where new improvements are shown and ex- 
plained, while their own difficulties are heard, dis- 
cussed and overcome almost every week. 

(j) Marketing This is the most important part 
of his difficulty. If the article does not sell or sells 
at a price which is unremunerativc the whole orga- 
nisation fails* The cottage worker desires to have 
ready cash and cannot afford to sell his goods in the 
best market Both the customer and the dealer take 
advantage of his difficulty. Nobody takes into consi- 
deration that if the cottage worker does not get a 
living wage he will be disturbed. It is in public 
interest that he should be kept alive. Had we ap- 
proached the problem from the above point of view 
things would not have assumed a gloomy picture. 
We do not feel the problem is insurmountable bat it has 
to be studied, analysed and solved and die sooner k 
is done die better* 



DIFFICULTIES AND HANDICAPS 6} 

Mahatma Gandhi and the All-India Spinners* 
Association have given a fillip to kbaddar and pro- 
vided a living wage to many spinners and weavers, 
'though the number thus provided may not be very 
large out that clearly shows the way. In Kashmir the 
whole organisation of wool workers is in the hands of 
this organisation and they are doing very useful work. 
We wish that more attention should have been given 
to the technical side of the question and to advise the 
workers in their particular craft. 

Generally three methods of sale are adopted* 
The first and foremost is that the cottage worker sells 
his produce himself by hawking or by taking it to the 
market or to the penth. Under such circumstances 
he cannot work for the days he goes out for sale and 
if the loss in labour is calculated he loses much more 
than he would have lost if his articles had been sold 
on commission basis. Certain places may be speci- 
fied where at an appointed time, artisans majr come to 
sell their wares ana thus a regular market is created. 
Or one man for a dozen artisans may be appointed to 
sell their produce and thus all of them will not have to 
lose their time and will get better price and the customer 
will have a variety to choose from. There are two 
main things which do not allow them to combine. 
The first is their lack of faith in each other and the 
second is that the proceeds of sale may not reach the 
producer as the seller may appropriate the sales to his 
own account. Besides a more serious difficulty is that 
the workman cannot afford to wait. His daily wage* 
do not give him enough and he can only work if his 
products are daily sold. 

His finaflcjfrj weakness has forced him to sell 
his article to the dealer. The dealer wants to ex* 
ploit him to the utmost and pays him the least amount 
under one pretext or another* The workman is a bad 
calculator and at the same time he happens to be help* 
less, and hence he loses in the bargain. 



64 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

The above difficulties have forced the workman 
to agree to a third method wherein the design and the 
material is supplied by the dealer and the workman 
works for the latter. As a matter of fact if the dealer 
would have taken an interest in the artisan this would 
have been an ideal method and both the dealer and the 
artisan would have been gainers. Unfortunately, the 
dealer looks to his own narrow self-interest and does 
not take a long view. Instead of giving him a remu- 
nerative wage the dealer on every turn wants to cut 
down labour costs for one thing or another. When 
the workman finds that the dealer, in mad rush of 
getting things cheap, goes on to cut his wages he 
begins to prepare an inferior article which results in 
further reduction of his wages. The workman get- 
ting less again makes a still worse piece and gets lesser 
still. This vicious circle goes on and kills the good- 
will of the industry and brings it to ruin. This method 
is followed ad infinitum. But if the dealer takes a sym- 
pathetic view, discusses the details of the manufacture 
and agrees to provide reasonable wage to the worker 
things will begin to improve. The present method 
cannot be said to be satisfactory and does not provide 
a remunerative wage to the cottage worker. We 
in India do not realise that only a well-paid and satis- 
fied workman puts forth good work. Some co-opera- 
tive sales societies have been found to help the artisans 
but unfortunately they are generally manned by officials 
who pay more attention to rules and regulations than 
to the practical running of the business. There are 
some other members of these co-operative societies 
who also are not conversant with this work. Spirit 
of real co-operation is seldom created, amongst the 
members, unless intelligent workmen themselves 
become members of the organisation and look after 
their own affairs the system can never succeed. 

Howevef there are certain inherent defects which 
are great handicaps in marketing these goods. One 



DIFFICULTIES AND HANDICAPS 6j 

of the most serious defects is that these goods have 
not been standardised and marked so far. 

Mill-rpade cloths bear numbers and marks by 
which a certain type can be easily distinguished from 
others. Unless a customer knows dennitcly what 
particular quality he is going to buy he can never be 
sure about its price. If the goods ot the cottage work- 
ers are standardised and a mark is assigned mere will 
be little difficulty in marketing the same. This will 
require an association under which all cottage work- 
ers should be made to work and to whom all the 
pieces should come before they arc marketed. If 
they are below standard, they may not be allowed the 
mark of efficiency and be sold cheaper as non-standard 
goods. A certificate from a recognised association as 
to the quality of goods will go a great way to help 
marketing. In certain articles we may guarantee the 
quality By showing on the label the details of 
raw material used in them. We are told that at 
Bhingar in Ahmadnagar district every piece is certi- 
fied by the Panch before it is sent for sale and this 
has worked very well. We wish that a similar system 
should be introduced in every trade and be honestly 
followed. This method will create a language of the 
market and then the customer will be willing to pay a 
higher price. 

The other defect is that some goods prepared 
in cottages lack finish found on those produced 
by factories. Irrespective of packing some will have 
to be bleached, others may have to be sized and 
still others may have to be polished, but every 
workman has not the facilities. A good finish of 
an inferior article sometimes brings better prices 
than the prices of a better but ill-finished article. 
In the case of metal, polish may play a very 
eat part In the case of woollen goods fulling may 
an important process. In certain cases felting may 



66 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

be necessary. In cases of glasswares annealing may 
be a very important process but very few blowers can 
have the arrangement. Bleaching in paper pulp 
before it is made into paper may make a world of diffe- 
rence in prices of the paper made from it. In leather 
goods varnishing or polishing or waxing may be an 
important factor. Workman may not be able to do 
all these with advantage. 

If finishing be done at one common place, the 
charge will be less and the articles will fetch a better 
pricp. 

( Generally articles made in cottages are considered 
to be inferior and people try to pay lower price for them. 
This mentality must be reversed. Public should know 
that every article made in cottage means national em- 
ployment and consequently must be paid a higher 
price. If this is not done we will be threatened with 
the menace of unemployment and the public will 
ultimately have to pay heavily for it. Though we are 
convinced that if the small and cottage industries are 
well organised and the necessary protection is granted 
they will be able to stand on their own legs and we 
need not be surprised if they successfully compete 
with articles made in large factories, yet we feel that 
these articles deserve patronage, when we have 
seen that cottage industries provide more employment 
and they are the only escape from starvation to the 
crorcs of our countrymen it is time that these indus- 
tries be patronised by everybody. I 

Texts The greatest difficulty complained against 
is the octroi duty levied by the Municipal Boards on 
the raw material and at times on the finished goods 
and sometimes on both. It is a pity that the people of 
urban areas do not want to tax themselves to provide 
amenities of life and levy indirect taxes and thus 
rain local industries. It must be the first concern of 
the Provincial Governments to examine octroi rales 
and their schedule and remove all such things which 



DIFFICULTIES AND HANDICAPS $7 

stand in the way of the development of industries. 
We wish that octroi duty and all such indirect taxes be 
abolished but until it is done octroi duty should not 
make an article expensive and should not cripple the 
trade for the sake of a few coppers, which are needed 
to make rich men to lead a luxurious life. To levy 
duty on the raw material or to charge an export duty 
on finished goods is wrong in principle. To allow re- 
bate of a few annas is no remedy of the wrong perpe- 
trated. We know the embarrassment and loss or time 
involved in getting small rebates and mostly the amount 
involved is not worth claiming it. This is a point 
which must be gone into very seriously. 

Rttilway FreigAt Many industries in the country 
have been killed by railwav freight. It is not the place 
to go into the details or this controversial question. 
Need we say that any addition in freight adds to the 
cost of the article whether the freight is levied on the 
raw material or on the finished goods. A time has 
come when special transport rates tor raw material and 
finished goods for different important centres of cottage 
industries be fixed and thus small and cottage indus- 
tries be helped. The interest of the industries should 
not be subordinated to that of the railways as in vogue 
but railways must run for industries. While Railways 
reduce their rates for big industries, they should 
first and foremost do so for cottage industries. 

It is a common knowledge that goods-clerks make 
several times of their salaries by illegal exactions and 
the higher officers have not been able to stop this 
practice, but as we know from our own experience 
sometime they seem to be helpless in the matter* Such 
practices do not exist in other parts of the world 
and it is indeed sad that such disgraceful things are 
allowed in this poor country. Big concerns have to 
pay large amounts per month, yet tne incidence of this 
illegal gratification works out a small amount per piece 
ot per mapnd; but for a small man any amount however 



<58 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

small if added to the cost of manufacture makes the 
article very expensive. In some cases the addition of 
freight works out as high as 50%. Such a state of 
affair is disgraceful and cannot be justified. We wish 
this practice to stop as soon as possible. The cul- 
prits can be safely detained in prison without trial for 
Jong periods as they are far more dangerous to the 
public than political workers. Small industries which 
do not cater for local needs cannot thrive until the 
system is done away with. 



CHAPTER V 

STATE AID TO INDUSTRIES 

In the development of industries government of 
every country has played a very important part. 
Financing research, providing education, regularising 
the industries and protecting them from foreign com- 
petition are some ot the well-known methods employed 
in other countries. The Government of India did 
not recognise this duty for a very long time and the 
dissenting note of Pandit Mad an Mohan Malaviya in 
the Industrial Commission Report brings out in relief the 
handicaps of industries and the adverse actions taken 
by the uovernment from time to time to the detriment 
or our industrial development. We are glad that the 
Government now has recognised this duty and is trying, 
though reluctantly, to move in the matter. 

After 1914 the Department of Industries has been 
created in some provinces and now the development 
of Industries is a transferred subject. Railways (trans* 
port), Control of import and export and levying the 
duties thereon, exchange and currency are all the sub- 
jects under the Government of India. This double 
control has been the greatest hindrance in the way of 
Nation Building Departments. There is neither any 
convention nor any statutory provision by which the 
Government of India may DC made to agree to a 
certain course of action, if all the provinces agree to 
introduce a certain measure of protection and help. 
Though such a thing will not have been of great help 
inasmuch as the interest of different provinces would 
have always differed and they would have invariably 
disagreed to a joint action but in certain cases such a 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 



procedur t would have been of some aid in the matter. 
Government of India has now got their Trade Com- 
missioners in most of the important countries and they 
could help cottage industries by studying foreign markets, 
but they seldom work from this point of view. We 
have not seen any valuable report describing the possi- 
bilities of trade with other countries or giving us de- 
tails of industries which can easily be introduced in 
this country. Add to these drawbacks the financial 
difficulties of the provinces who mainly depend upon 
land revenues and irrigation dues for their expenditure. 
Below we give the total revenue and the expenditure 
incurred by different provinces on the Industries 
Department. 

Exfwtub turt on Total ordinary of txptndi- 

Province Industries Ktvenm tun on Indtu- 

Dtpartmtnt tries Defi/t. to 

(Rs. in ooo'j) (R/. in oooV) /*/,// rwtnut 



Punjab 


1,770.8 


M9 8 35 


1.48 


UP. 




1,568.0 


i>*3>37* 


i. ii 


Bihar 




544.4 


50,3*7 


i. 08 


Bengal 




1,056.0 


1,50,085 


0.81 


Assam 




250.6 


27,5^1 


0.92 


Orisst 




120.4 


18,466 


0,65 


Cciutal P 


rovina 


s 158.0 


45,571 


0.57 


Madras 




866.6 


1,60,062 


0.54 


Bombay 




571,8 


1,24,381 


0.46 


Sind 




35.0 


39*3 


0.90 



The above expenditure includes the expenditure 
on big industries too and also the salaries of the staff* 
Thus the expenditure on cottage industries is very 
meagre and inadequate. Whenever the question of 
retrenchment comes, Industries Department has been 
the first to be axed. 

There are many other things which make the de* 
urtment quite ineffective. The main thing is that 
the department is a specialised job yet any 



STATE AND INDUSTRIES 7! 

officer is considered to be suitable for the post and 
he too is not allowed to remain there for long* As 
soon as he gets acquainted with the activities of the 
department he is transferred and the work is entrusted 
to another new man. A person brought from execu- 
tive side loves red-tope and naturally buries himself 
in the files of routine rather than doing any useful 
work. 

If the Government really wants to do some useful 
work, non-officials who have established their repu- 
tation as good organisers and who have taken interest 
in the development of industries should be appoint* 
ed on these jobs so that they may freely mix with the 
public and utilise their business experience for the good 
of the people. Unless this is done there seems to be 
no chance for any appreciable development. Money 
in sufficient amount should be placed at the disposal 
of the Director and he must be left free to know the 
public opinion and respect the same. Business 
and authority go ill together. As longas the employees 
in the Department, including the uirector himself, 
consider that they are officials and not public servants, 
in the real sense of the term, no substantial gain will 
accrue. 

There is another difficulty in the matter. When- 
ever any difficult position arises the Government takes 
shelter under one Committee or another and the matter 
is referred to them <td infinitum till the public opinion 
gets tired. There have been many surveys and com- 
mittees but very little has come out of them. It is the 
action that is needed; when we have once started work 
experience gained will be the best guide* 

Industries cannot be an isolated subject. It must 
have the co-operation of the different departments. 
Co-operation, agriculture, transport, education, etc., 
arc ail connected together. Jn so many cases work 
suffers for want of co-ordination. Unnecessary delays 
retard the work and bring about waste and loss of time 



7* COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

and money. Speedy method of disposal is only possible 
when the officers think these matters to be of national 
importance and attend to them with the promptness 
required. 

If there was any hope of placing the cottage indus- 
tries on their legs it was the Co-operative Department, 
which could give practical help in their organisation. 
The same remarks of want of special study and the 
transfers apply to the Co-operative Registrar. There 
is no consistent policy and secondly the business ex- 
perience and skill required to see these things through 
is wanting. Co-openpon and organisation require 
a study of human psychology. It requires resource- 
fulness, pluck and tact^Bid also a grasp of the subject. 
All these qualities can Jfenly be acquired by experience 
and training. But hfere too the work is entrusted 
to untrained men who generally prove to be failures. 
In private service if a man is found to be unsuitable 
he can be discharged or transferred to another job, 
but not so in Government Department with the result 
that the inefficiency is writ large. We seem to give 
preference to standard of education than to training 
required to execute a certain job. We seem to forget 
that in certain cases higher education makes a man 
bookish and debars the incumbent from doing his duty 
in a suitable manner. 

It is no wonder that most of the schemes adopt- 
ed from time to time by the co-operative department 
have failed. Below we give total number of workers 
in different industries along with the number of mem- 
bers that have joined the co-operative societies from 
Bengal Review. This shows the meagreness of the work 
done by the co-operative societies in Bengal. Work 
in other provinces is in no way better. 



STATE AND INDUSTRIES 7) 



Total numbtr of Numbtr of mtm- 
(ottos? industry btn of 



Industry vorktrt tnmffd tin production & 
in tbt industry salt scat ties 1937 
(Approx.) 


Handloom cotton weaving . . 


1,92,000 


y705 


Cocoon rearing 


7,900 


1,158 


Brass and bell metal 


11,000 


*3* 


Blacksmiths and other work- 






ers in iron 


42,000 


3* 


Workers in leather (including 






shoemakers) . . 


9,000 


*4S 


Carpenters 


7,000 


3* 


Manufacture of sugar & mo- 






lasses 


4,000 


1,036 


Pottery & Earthenware 


46,000 


30 



The report rightly observes that "the meagreness 
of the progress hitherto made by co-operative 
organisations in the marketing of products should 
appear to be even more pronounced if the value 
of goods sold through various kinds of co-operative 
institutions was compared with the values of numerous 

Eroducts purchased by production and sale societies and 
idustrial Unions (exclusive of milk and paddy unions) 
were estimated at Rs. 15, 138 and Rs. io,joo respective- 
ly; while the sales of the provincial and co-operative 
society during the same year were estimated at about 
Rs. 66,000." 

To provide training, Government has done some- 
thing either by opening schools, peripatetic or j>erma- 
nent, or by providing special experts to advise in the 
improvements of cottage workers. In the first place 
such an aid has been very meagre in comparison to 
the vast number of people employed in cottage indus- 
tries and secondly it is not, of the proper kind. The 
very fact^hat generally the cnildren of artisans and cot-* 
tage workers do not join these training centres not the 



74 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

adult takes into confidence the so-called Government 
experts is a clear condemnation of the system. It is 
not always true that the artisans being too poor can- 
not afford to send their boys to these institutes. If 
it is true, we can introduce the system of teaching at 
times when generally these children have no work to 
do at home. Further, we may take a few intelligent boys 
of these artisans and pay them some stipend and send 
them back home after their training. This has been done 
in certain cases but students always try to join Govern- 
ment service rather than go back to their profession. 
This aversion to work in profession shown by trained 
sons of artisans is a serious matter and must be in- 
vestigated if we want to popularise these institutes. 

To our mind there are two causes of this difficulty. 
Firstly, the practical atmosphere which ought to pre- 
vail in schools does not exist and secondly, schools 
have not yet become the centres of research and en- 
thusiasm which always counts for success. We re- 
quire teachers who are not only interested in their 
salaries but more interested in their work and do not 
shirk to work with their own hands. 

There is no method for increasing the knowledge 
and experiences of teachers. There must be arrange- 
ment to provide up-to-date knowledge of the market 
wherein articles are sold and so also the trend of fashions. 
We have written more in this connection elsewhere. 

We saw in Japan that whenever a traveller from 
outside sends his report or new designs and new sugges- 
tions or defects in the articles made in Japan such 
reports are attended to by the highest experts in the 
country. Attempts are at once made to meet the 
criticism. New articles are prepared on those lines 
and when that is done an attempt is made to manu- 
facture new styles and teach them in these schools. 
Thus the schools do not suffer the defect of primi- 
tiveness or inanition but they always get a new life 
and remain always active and alive. People in business 



STATE AND INDUSTRIES 75 

or those who have made special study of these subjects 
ate asked to lecture from time to time and their ex- 
perience and knowledge is thus placed at the disposal 
of the schools. Old boys who are in trade or busi- 
ness consider it to be their privilege to come to these 
schools and give their experience to the students occa- 
sionally. In our case industrial schools are places of 
no interest as it were and they do not remain alive to 
the needs of the people. 

As regards equipment, machines, chemicals, etc., 
they are badly wanting in many respects. For research 
there seems to be no collaboration with research work- 
ers. They do not even get the up-to-date knowledge 
through journals, etc., from different countries or differ- 
ent parts of the country. It is not a place to enter 
into the details of education, but we can say without 
hesitation that a lot of improvement has to be made 
in these schools before they can be of much use. Their 
number must be increased and they must provide 
training in all the cottage industries worth the name 
in that district or province. 

There is not sufficient propaganda amongst the 
artisans for these schools. It is not the lectures or 
shows that are needed but the best propaganda will 
be to produce an article more attractive, better finished 
at a cheap rate. If a few artisans earn more through 
advice from these schools, confidence will at once 
be created. 

There are only spasmodic attempts made by 
Government but no success can be achieved till a sys- 
tematic planning is done in this connection. 

The only method that appeals to us is the syste- 
matic investigation of the possibilities of develop- 
ment. How this should be done let us explain briefly 
here. We must make a more detailed study of out 
imports and find out what articles put of those am 
be manufactured in the country. Similarly through our 
Trade Commissioners and travellers we should find 



j6 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

out articles which may be easily exported. Over and 
above these we should get more details of our internal 
market. All this will put us in possession of facts 
about the markets and consumption in the country. 
Then we should make a study of the raw materials avail- 
able for manufacture of these articles. A further 
study be made about the skill, talent, experience and 
knowledge of our people. Taking the above investi- 
gation into consideration we should find out as to how 
best we can utilise the artisans for the manufacture 
of these articles. In case where propaganda is needed 
to improve the quality of efficiency of the worker it 
should at once be started. If training in certain new 
or old industries is desired centres for the same be 
organised. For the manufacture of new articles suit- 
able persons be employed to evolve useful methods 
of manufacture. In cases where machinery, tools 
and equipment be available in foreign countries, those 
must be imported and such sets be multiplied in the 
country. All this requires large staff and expenditure 
but the information collected and the work done is 
bound to bring about suitable reward. Revival of old 
industries or planting of new industries will then be 
quite easy and success will be assured. 

In order to keep our methods up-to-date we 
should have large number of travellers, travelling all 
over the country and abroad, and studying the taste and 
fashion of the people and also the method of manu- 
facture of different types of articles. They may pur- 
chase samples, tools, machines, drawings, books and 
periodicals and send them to the organisation in the 
country. They may take photos, discuss thongs with 
business men of other countries and send their periodi- 
cal reports. There should be an organisation work- 
ing in the country to tabulate, analyse and utilise this 
material and keep informed the artisans concerned. 
This organisation may issue pamphlets, periodicals] 
etc., in toe vernaculars of the country to keep the arti 



STATE AND INDUSTRIES 77 

sans posted up-to-date. 

Besides tnese there may be demonstration patties 
^nd training schools to impart education to the people 
from time to time for bringing their methods of 
manufacture up-to-date. 

Arrangement for the supply of raw material at 
controlled prices and marketing of goods should also 
be made. Loans at reasonable rates of interest be 
available for productive purposes. The work of 
advertisement should also be done by Government 
both by opening emporiums and museums and also by 
publishing advertisements in the papers. Control of 
production not below a certain stanaard will have to 
oe maintained. Government should further see that 
articles required by government departments are only 
purchased from cottage industries and workmen are 
always patronised ana encouraged. 

Suitable rewards to artisans may occasionally be 
given. Aid or cheap loans may be granted to struggl- 
ing artisans. It is a pity that money provided unoer 
the Reserve Bank Act has not been utilised for the deve- 
lopment of industries though a provision for it has 
long been made. 

If all the provinces combine in the above planning 
duplication may be avoided, resources and experience 
may be pooled and full use of the existing facili- 
ties may be made. Japan and China have already 
given us a lead in the organisation of cottage and small- 
scale industries and if we make full use oftheir contri- 
vances and organisation we can industrialise our country 
in a very short period. Machines, tools and equip- 
ment with advantage may be purchased in the first 
instance and then their modification and multiplication 
according to our needs and requirements may not be 
at all difficult. This will prove to be the quickest way 
of development. 

During the War India made no less sacrifice than 
any othe* country and we think we are entitled to 



ft COTTAGE AND SMAU^SCALE INDUSTRIES 

utilise the skill and expect knowledge both of Germany 
and Japan. Why can't experts from both these countries 
be brought here to teach us the manufacture of 
different articles ? Similarly there should be no hitch 
to import suitable tools for the manufacture of differ* 
cnt articles* 

We hope if the above line of attack is followed 
we can occupy the same position as Japan did in our 
internal market before the War. 



CHAPTER VI 

PROTECTION OF COTTAGE INDUSTRIES 

There was a time when England believed in free 
trade and ridiculed the idea of restricting imports 
though she herself had built her industries by levying 
tariffs against foreign imports. We cannot forget 
the action taken against Indian exports to England. 
When a country becomes strong and well-organised 
it is easy to preach the doctrine of equality. But just 
before the War England herself, let go the principle 
of free trade, had to adopt the policy of protecting nor 
own industry against other countries. Besides Eng- 
land which was the first to develop in foreign trade, 
every countrv of Europe and that of United States of 
America built her economy on protection and there- 
fore raised high tariff walls against other countries. 
Though Indian economists and the leaders of public 
opinion have always favoured protection yet it is only 
in very few industries that the Indian Government 
agreed to give relief. Iron, steel and sugar indus- 
tries can be pointed out a* instances which have devel- 
oped only due to protection. Cloth was also protect* 
ed against Japanese competition before the present 
War* During the War the Government announced 
that they will extend protection to new industries which 
may be developed during the War and we entertak 
every hope that die government will keep their promise, 

It is & recognised feet that for the development 
of every new industry protection is a necessity. We 
do not want to dilate upon this very important ques- 
tion and would like to take it lot granted that protec- 
tion will be provided for wherever it may be necewasy. 



go COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

When big industries like sugar, iron and cloth 
requite protection, cottage industries with extremely 
limited scope and capital require both nursing and 
protection. When big industries themselves took ad- 
vantage of protection and have developed simply on 
account of it they cannot deny the same principle to be 
extended to cottage industries. As we have said else- 
where cottage industries are of national importance in- 
asmuch as only through them and them alone we can 
provide our population with means of employment. 
It is, therefore, essential that all known methods of help 
and protection should be allowed to succour cottage 
industries. Unless this is done cottage industries 
cannot develop and without them a large part of the 
population will have to remain poor and starving a 
condition which no country of the world can tole- 
rate. 

Protection in the cottage industries will take, 
however, a different shape. They have to be protect- 
ed from three sides, firstly, against foreign competi- 
tion, secondly, against big industries and thirdly, against 
exploitation by capitalists. Let us explain all these 
types of protection in more detail. 

Details of protection from foreign countries are 
very well known and the government is committed to 
this principle. We are quite sure that the new govern- 
ment, when it begins to function, will take a still longer 
view and we hope and believe that it will try to do its 
utmost to extend this principle to a still greater extent. 
Secondly, industries developed during the War should 
not be allowed to die* There are many such indus- 
tries. But out of them chemical, pharmaceutical and 
biological industries have developed on a cottage 
scale and they must be protected. We are sure big 
industrialists will not try to take these industries away 
from die domain of the small man to their own arrange- 
ment and thus will not deprive him of the means of 
his livelihood 



PROTECTION OF COTTAGE INDUSTRIES 8 1 

We are sure that the entire country will be of one 
mind so far as protection against foreign imports is 
concerned be it in favour of big industries or cottage 
industries. We on our parts expect the big industria- 
lists to fight the battle both of their own and that of the 
small man. 

Protection against big factories is rather a ticklish 
one. Before we proceed a question may pertinently 
be asked, viz. t Does there exist a competition be- 
tween the big and small industries ? If it is so, is it to 
the advantage of the country that no further improve- 
ment be made? Will it do any good if the entire work- 
ing be left in the hand of the cottage worker who is 
not only slow in adopting improvement but is utterly 
conservative, orthodox and opposed to change his 
primitive and crude methods ? It may be argued and 
perhaps very plausibly that big industries are nothing 
but a method of improvement on cottage industries. 
All industries in the beginning start on a cottage scale 
but by continuous improvement they become big-scale 
industries. If we once adopt the principle of protec- 
tion against big-scale industries we place a premium 
on inefficiency, backwardness and primitive and crude 
working. Surely nobody would like his (country to 
continue to follow backward, out-of-date methods with- 
out taking full advantage of the latest inventions and 
discoveries of the world. 

Those who believe in Mahatma Gandhi's doc- 
trines about machinery may say that if prc-machincry 
method of living gave them more happiness, 
more contentment and better moral outlook of life 
why should one fight shy of these arguments. Cut 
down your needs and the exploitation of one coun- 
try by another will cease. There will be no rush for 
armaments and everybody will lead a Yar better life 
than what it is led to-day. There will be no necessity 
of wars and the need for the invention of the atomic 
bomb will never arise. After all wiping away of more 
6 



t* COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

than 2 lacs of people most of whom were not belligerents 
by a single bomb is not a desirable thing. Such, and, 
perhaps, still worse, things will happen. Perhaps, the 
so called scientific world will end itself by its own science. 
After all, it is a waste of human energy to produce 
children and then send them away to serve as canon* 
fodder. This mad rush for colonies and the enslave- 
ment of the people of other countries along with the 
cry of democracy and condemnation of aggression is 
nothing else but a fraud and chicanery against humanity. 
After all, the ideal of humanity cannot be its own des- 
truction. Nor can it be the enslavement or the ex- 
ploitation of those who are physically or morally 
weak by the comparatively stronger. One expected 
better handling of man by man than has been displayed 
in this War. In the make-up of modern science and 
discoveries we see nothing else but misery all round and 
it seems the time is coming when the world will be des- 
troyed by its own inhabitants through atomic bomb 
or something more destructive. The principle of 
'might is right 9 is an animal instinct and not a human 
rationale of society. Have few wants, supply them from 
natural sources as far as possible and be contented and 
happy. Do not exploit others but do not be exploited 
either, and if the exploiter does not willingly withdraw, 
do not resist physically but non-co-operate or by sym- 
pathy with your enemy win his heart and cruelty will 
disappear from the world. 

The above argument is a mixture of religious, 
social and economic ideas blended together. Out 
province being only economics we can discuss these 
things purely on an economic plane, and . therefore 
will simply end by saying that there is nothing wrong 
in a weapon but the mistake may be in wielding 
the same. A sword may be used to shed the blood 
of am innocent person as well as of a dacoit and a mur- 
derer. But the sword is a far better weapon than a stone 
and one's own daws. Amenities of life seem desk* 



PROTECTION OP COTTAGB INDUSTRIES 83 

able to every man. There is a natural instinct to desire 
them* That being so it does not stand to reason that 
the people of any country who actually use the aero- 
planes should not try to manufacture them. After 
all man was born an animal but he was not satisfied 
with that life alone and spurred by dissatisfaction he 
went on progressing till he started to grow wheat and 
plant fruit and build houses so much so that now no- 
body can say where he is going to stop. If aeroplane 
is unnatural, agriculture is also unnatural and so is the 
bullock cart. If the exploitation of man by another 
man is bad, why should the exploitation of one animal 
by another be tolerated ? For, after all, man is also an 
animal. 

We take it for granted that most of us or at least 
the majority of us believe that science can help ai 
great deal to add to the amenities of life. That being 
so, we take it for granted that we do want to take full 
advantage of the modern scientific discoveries and 
inventions. 

Then the question will arise as to why we should 
not adopt the American method of mass production and 
say good-bye to the cottage industries once for all* 
If We had a vast country like America with about one 
fourth the population of what we* have in this country 
we might nave differed in the method of the exploita- 
tion lot other countries and in that of creating huge 
cartfels and monopolies but certainly we would have not 
oMected to mass production. In a sparsely popu- 
laied country labour saving machinery is welcome andf 
being conducive to the good of the people it should 
be utilised. But in a country which is very densely 
populated, where poverty is rampant, where the stan- 
dard of living is very low, and where labour is perhaps 
at its cheapest, will it not be criminal to utilise heavv 
machinery and then turn unemployed into the idle ones r 
After all machinery and inventions are for man, and mam 
is not for them. If we still believe, and we think we 



H4 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

should, that man is higher than machine, then, we shall 
have to adopt means and methods which will keep the 
machine as a servant of humanity and not the master 
of it. If we once agree to this argument all what has 
;been said against cottage industries will be overruled. 
After all such a huge population which remains un- 
employed and whose number will increase rather than 
decrease by the introduction of big industries, cannot 
be supported by charity or by dolls nor it is desirable 
to create a moral defeatism which is the natural conse- 
quence of charity. People do not want charity and most 
of them would prefer starving to begging. They want 
work and it is the nation's task to provide them with it* 
Government is nothing else but an instrument of the 
nation's will. That being so there is no royal road to 
be followed by all the countries of the world. Every 
country will have to evolve its own method. This 
is why we have dealt with this point at great length 
in a previous chapter. 

Let us examine a bit more definitely whether by 
adopting cottage industries as our ideal we really put 
the hands of scientific clock back. When we start 
big industries we have only a few dozen persons at 
the top while we employ working labour by thousands 
They repeat the same process day in and day out withou 
using their intelligence or common sense. After thi 
work is over they get so exhausted that they do not * 
desire to take to any cultural activities. Even if s<us, 
-of them are left with some energy there are no occasftur 
for them to divert it usefully. Besides this we creac 
a class of people who if deprived of factory employ 
ment cannot but seek the same again. From humai 
point of view we really kill the initiative in the labourer. 
Suppose we provide the people with bread, but, does 
a man live by bread alone ? No. It is indeed a sad 
spectacle to see a labourer in big factories where he is 
nothing more than a part of the machinery itself. He 
rworks and behaves like a machine. If intelligence or 



PROTECTION OF COTTAGE INDUSTRIES 9% 

common sense is used it will invariably spoil the trick 
and the factory will suffer. A manager will not like 
that idea at all. If readers take the trouble of studying 
the history of factory development in England and 
other countries they will at once be convinced of the 
above arguments. For years the labourers would not 
leave their own homes and would not go to the factories. 
They would not work in them as their liberty was 
destroyed and therefore they preferred smaller income 
than they could get in factories. It was only gradually 
that they succumbed to the temptation. In the case 
of cottage industry we take the scientific discovery and 
invention to the ordinary man. We widen the horkon 
of his intellect. We make him self-reliant, liberty- 
loving and house-enjoying. We make him more cul- 
tured and master of his own affairs. Common sense of 
the people is more developed and modern knowledge is 
made more easily available to the average man through 
cottage industries, for we thus create an inauisitiveness 
amongst the ordinary people. The children of the 
nation have a better and wider outlook as they see all 
round new arts and crafts run on the most modem 
, scale. If everybody would have taken to big industries* 
l weaver would have become an ordinary labourer 
fo>erforming a certain monotonous duty unthinkingly 
w#d thus would have lost all his initiative. 
tion > If you once allow that a fcottagc weaver should c 
to take full advantage of the chemical and mechanical, 
inciples and processes all objections raised above will; 
sappear. Had we advocatea cottage industries of the 
of handicrafts only it would have been otherwise. 
5ut we believe in employing all the scientific knowl- 
edge employed in running big industries minus the 
enormous amount of capital and huge machinery. We 
wish to bring the highest chemical and mechanical 
principles to the aid of the ordinary man which the big; 
industrialists in India do not even care to understand! 
So far the big industrialist has only been investing hi* 



86 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

capital in importing big machinery and starting new 
ventures with the help of the foreign manufacturer and 
thus there is very little knowledge that comes through 
big industries. In spite of the fact that for more than 
fifty years he has been using textile machinery he never 
risked his money to manufacture it in India. Though 
the sugar machinery is full of very crude and huge parts 
which can easily be manufactured yet he has always been 
trying to import them from abroad. Ordinarily big in- 
dustrialist unfortunately believes in making his money 
and does not believe in enterprises where research, dis- 
covery or invention is needed. He has not cared to spend 
money on research or improving his method of manu- 
facture. It does not mean that we condemn all the people 
down-right but a majority of the people believes in easy 
methods of making money and does not care in the spread 
of knowledge. There are certainly very many exceptions. 
States have certainly done a lot in research and during 
the War they have shown what can be done in the way 
of manufacturing new types of articles. There are some 
others also. But in such a big country their number is 
very small and not worth (consideration. Readers will, 
therefore, agree that it does not lie in their mouth to 
place the above argument against cottage industry. 
We have advocated the Japanese method of cottage 
industry where the principles, applicable jto the highest 
machinery have been introduced to small industry .y-4 
have even been improved upon by eliminating the sp 
parts* Wherever it had not been possible to do so thious, 
divided a process into two or more stages so that orput 
could be worked on a big scale and other on a cottagefse 
scale. But where it had been found to be absolutely im~\re 
possible to work on a small sea It y wholly or partially, they ig 
did it on a big scale. In doing so we take the most modern <? 
scientific knowledge to every cottage worker and since 
small machines come to be demanded in large numbers 
we introduce a class of people who. manufacture small 
machines and thus cultivate a high standard of intelli- 



PROTECTION OF COTTAGB INDUSTRIES 87 

gence. This being so we cannot be accused of destroy* 
ing the class of intelligent worker employed in the crude 
or primitive method of manufacture. 

Now the main argument being disposed of we have 
to establish that there exists an unfair competition be- 
tween big and small industries. Avoiding marshalling 
facts on this point let us quote from the well-known "Re- 
port of the Bombay Economic and Industrial Survey Com- 
mittees of 1938-40" presided over by one of the biggest 
industrialists and business men of India, Sir Purshottam 
Das Thakur Das Kt. Fortunately he is one of the signa- 
tories to the Bombay Plan and his moderate and sympa- 
thetic views are well known. We have the privilege of 
personal acquaintance with him and we know that every- 
body in the country holds him in high esteem so far as 
industrial questions are concerned. We attach very 
great importance to this Committee's views as Bombay 
is the most industrially advanced province in India, ana 
therefore the readers will excuse us if we quote this 
report rather in extenso. Here is the relevant portion 
of the report: 

"Cottage industries and large-scale industries One of 
the questions referred to us was the relation of cottage 
industries jo large-scale industries. There is no doubt 
that several large-scale industries do compete with 
several cottage industries and many cottage workers 
this competition. The handloom weaver com* 
of the milt, the cartmaker and cart-driver complain 
the bus, the potter complains of the aluminium factory 
d the brass and copper worker complains of the fac- 
tory-made brass and copper utensils. But the existence 
of this competition should not make us forget that there 
still are, even in the case of articles where there is com- 
petition, special markets of cottage products where the 
latter can easily hold their own* Then there are com- 
modities in the production of which the cottage 
industries arc especially suited such as gold and silver- 
ware, lacquered ware, embroidery, cane work of various 



88 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

kinds, sandal wood and ivory carvings, production of 
fancy articles from fibre and a number of art crafts; 
the cottage worker who is engaged in the production of 
these commodities has no quarrel with large-scale 
industries. Finally there are some cottage industries 
which not only compete with large-scale industries, 
but are actually dependent on the existence of the latter. 
Some examples of such industries are tape making, 
bobbin making, motor cushion making, manufacture 
of leather articles required by calico printing on mill 
cloth. There are also a number of services which have 
followed in the wake of large-scale industries particularly 
those of repairs which give whole-time employment 
to a number of what may be described as cottage workers. 
It will appear, therefore, that there need not be any funda-^ 
mental conflict of interest between large-scale industry 
as such and cottage industry and the prosperity, the lat- 
ter would not necessarily mean the decline of the former* 
It will be the business of the Industries Departments to 
explore all the possibilities for the establishments and 
expansion within the province of those cottage indus- 
tries which do not compete with large-scale industries. 
It is also possible to combine large-scale methods and 
manufacture with some cottage processes such as factory- 
made splints and veneers accompanied by match making 
as a cottage industry as in the Madras Presidency. 
Possibilities of this kind also be investigated by the P 11 
dustrics Departments. When all this has been done, how 
ever, there is no doubt that there shall still remain a large 
industrial field where there is short competition between 
the product of cottage industries and those of large-scale 
industries. This is partilcuarlv true of the textile industry. 
Representatives of the Bombay and Ahmadabad Mill- 
owners Associations attempted to prove by reference to 
statistics of mill production, imports and the estimated 
handloom production, etc., that the organised cotton 
tactile industry was mainly competing with the pro- 
ducts of similarly organised foreign textile industries 



PROTECTION OF COTTAGE INDUSTRIES 89 

and not with those of the local handloom weavers* 
We are unable to accept this contention in toto. There is no 
doubt that the mill product, whether imported or indigenous 
has been steadily encroaching on what used to be the 
bandloom weavers preserve and the most recent exawph 
of such penetration is the field of women 9 s clothing. It 
may be true that the mills arc not making saris and 
khans exactly of the kind which the handlooms make, 
but they are certainly making saris and bodioj cloth 
which women for various reasons take to wearing in 
preference to the handloom variety. The representa- 
tives of the various handloom weavers' associations such 
as those of Maharashtra Weavers' Association, Karnatak 
Weavers' Association, the Industrial Co-operative 
Association, Ahmadnagar. The Industrial Co-operative 
Association, Hubli, etc., bitterly complained of this 
competition and some of them suggested the imposition 
of a duty on mill cloth while others pleaded for a statu- 
tory division of the textile market between the mill indus- 
try and handloom weaving industry. We arc unable to 
consider the suggestions in detail and make our recom- 
mendations thereon, because we are convinced that un- 
less power is obtained to control import effectively 
any such action may result in benefit to neither the 
local handloom weaving industry nor the local mill 
industry. Moreover the organised mill industry is not 
*^1bd only in this province and any action taken by the 

l/incial government may only result in loss to the 
/ill mill industry without any advantage to the hand- 
weavers. Finally, all such actions restrictive, in some 
sure or other, of the activity of large-scale industry 

rvitably raise inter-provincial and inter-state questions 
which cannot be solved by the unilateral action of the 
single provincial government. In our opinion the ques- 
tion or regulating the activities of large-scale industries 
particularly the textile industry which compete with cot* 
tage industry is a subject which cannot be decided upon 
by the Bombay Government alone and we recommend 




90 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

that this question be referred by the Bombay Government 
to a special conference of the representatives of the 
Government of India and other Provinces and State 
Governments in the country and the Provincial action 
should follow the lines of an agreed policy that such a 
conference may adopt. We would like at the same time 
to record our opinion that in case powers are obtained to 
control imports as suggested above and an agreement is 
obtained from the other provincial and state governments 
on the matter of the regulation of large-scale industry 
competing with cottage industry, some regulation of the 
kind referred to above particularly a division of the 
market accompanied by a duty, if necessary to prevent 
the encroachment of the mill market into the handloom 
market offers a possible solution. We think, however, 
that the whole question should be examined in all its 
various aspects by the conference the convening of 
which by the Bombay Government \ve have recom- 
mended above." 

Italics should be marked. (The italics in the above 
are ours.) Let us first make it clear that we do not agree 
as to what has been said about the legitimate scope 
of big and cottage-scale industries. Cottage industry 
has been in existence for a very long time and the big 
industries have only recently usurped their functions 
and, therefore, it is but necessary that the big-scale 
industry should show their justification. In I 

. / - '. , . 

there is scope for cottage industries to exist 
is far higher scope for the big industries to es 
lish themselves in manufactures of articles p: 
duced by cottage industries. But if they want 
encroach upon the market which is rightly the domain o 1 
cottage industry they cannot be looked upon wi 
favour. The sympathy of the public will always be 
with the worker and he should always be protected 
against the capitalist. 

However, it has been admitted that encroachment 
does oust and some action in that connection is called for. 




PROTECTION OF COTTAGE INDUSTRIES 9* 

The biggest industry is that of the textiles and it is 
there that the encroachment is being made. It is neces- 
sary to provide two separate markets for both, and the 
big factories should be prohibited to make goods pro- 
duced by the cottage workers. There should DC a simple 
and cheap law to register designs with the Collector of 
the district and if once registered such a design should 
not be allowed to be copied by mills. It is true that 
the prohibition of manufacturing certain goods by big 
factories can only be effectively carried out by the Centre 
and we have proposed at another place that there must 
be a department of the central government directing 
and protecting cottage industry. Things which are 
made by cottage industry should not be allowed to 
be made by big factories. Since the government has 
already decided to control the location of big factories 
there we presume some sort of licensing will be in- 
troduced on behalf of the central government. If it 
is so intended it will not at all be difficult to restrain big 
industries from encroaching upon the field of cottagd 
workers. They can be refused permission if they do not 
agree. India is not a country which may be said to be 
well industrialised. There are thousands of articles which 
are not made in the country, let the big industrialists 
invest their money in the production of these articles 
rather than encroach upon the domain of the cottage 
ker. VtAfc' OKM*V to^iky c**** . 

There are two other types of organisations against 
the cottage worker must be protected. From shop- 
rs who provide raw material and purchase finished 
Articles and secondly those who employ the artisans 
as workers either on wages or pay them on the basis 
of the amount of work done. Generally the latter 
method is adopted. From investigation it has been 
found that the first method is more dangerous than the 
other. In their interim report on marketing of cottage 
industry products (September 1939) the committee found 
that the shopkeeper by advancing raw material and get* 



9* COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

ting back finished article makes a profit of 50% on his 
investment. It is a very high rate of profit and does not 
include the interest that he charges over and above this 
profit. In the second case the wages are so meagre 
that the worker has to work late hours which adversely 
affects both the quality of the product and the health 
and efficiency of the people employed. Cottage worker 
must be protected from both types of exploitation. 

In the case of the shopkeepers who sell raw material 
to the cottage workers and purchase the finished goods 
from them licensing of dealers may be introduced and 
the licence holders should be asked to maintain all their 
transactions in writing Daily rates of raw material 
and the price at which a finished article is purchased 
and sold may be exhibited. This will lessen the abuse 
to some extent. Inspectors may be appointed to protect 
workers engaged on wages and rules may be made for 
improving their condition. But all these methods will 
only be palliatives and cannot remedy the evil, 

We have given separately the method of avoiding 
the above abuses and therefore need not repeat the same 
over again here. 



CHAPTER VII 

NATIONALISATION OF COTTAGE INDUS- 
TRIES 

No Government in modern times is worth the name 
which does not make provision for unemployment. In 
every country funds for the purpose of giving dole to 
those who do not find work are created. Insurance 
against unemployment is introduced. But so far nothing 
has been done by the Government in this country. 
Perhaps the Government considers itself to be incom- 
petent to provide work for crores of people who remain 
unemployed. Add to it the vast number of those who 
are simply partially employed, hh?^^ 
that people living^ on ajgri^ffa'ig jgCMi^Iy" remain 
tmemploycd tor apcriod varying ^ c ^^ n _J^^lJlx 
months aricTThe landless labourers remain unc5ii 



^ Tfien 

W^ziaSir^r^lSoM wqrKfigjn 
industries (cottage) wHoarc" c^rfl 'ffijy tlwwiLxSu^ of 



gmployment., whosfiould finJ worlc for these people 
^ She maufquestion ? 

I Illiterate people, poor and unrcsourccfol, cannot 
6e expected to solve this problem; nor the rich will be 
billing to share their wealth with them. Big industries, 
itt&L cannot give employment lojuch a nu|te 
i. What is die remedy and who is to discover It? 
of raising the standard of living of the people 
who have no standard at all looks to be a huge joke cut at 
the people's expense. To provide criminals in jail with 
food and clothing and to neglect those who are innocent 
and willing workers is to incite people to commit crimes* 
Theft and robbery is the result ot natural urge to save 



$4 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

one's life from nakedness and starvation. Not to pro- 
vide work for the people and only to provide it when 
they commit crimes is a crime against humanity. 

If once it is decided that it is the duty of the Govern- 
ment to provide work for the people, half the battle of 
removing poverty is won. It is a pity that neither the 
Government consider it to be their duty nor the leaders 
of public opinion create an agitation for it and they still 
deceive themselves to think that they can raise the stan- 
dard of the masses. 

Recently the Government have issued a communi- 
que on the question of nationalising some of the 
industries. Such a move has been adversely commented 
upon by industrialists. But if the Government had 
decided to nationalise cottage industries nobody would 
have objected and the Government would have caught 
the imagination of everybody. We are sure, the Gov- 
ernment know their limitations and their resources 
and capabilities. They have seen that, even for a 
few lacs of demobilised soldiers, they are quite unable 
to provide suitable work though a great fuss has been 
made over this question. From the little we know, the 
Central or the Provincial Governments find themselves 
unable to solve this problem. To employ them in 
building work is no solution. If they have not been 
able to solve the problem of the soldiers, will the Gov-, 
crnmcnt take up the uphill task of employing tale 
cottage worker by nationalising industries ? V^L 

we may be permitted to point out that the nationaY" 1 
isation of cottage industries is far more easier than ttV 
provide work for the demobilised soldiers* In the first!* 
place the cottage worker generally knows his job and T 
is interested in his own work. His willingness to remain 
where he is, is a great asset. In the case of a demobilised 
soldier, he has neither the necessary skill nor he has 
any future plans to follow one profession or the other. 
Secondly, the cottage worker is already leading a miser- 
able life and gets very little to keep his body and soul 



NATIONALISATION OP COTTAGE INDUSTRIES JJ 

together. A little organisation or guarantee for his occu- 
pation will prop him up and he will be satisfied and be 
grateful to those who help him. Demobilised soldiers have 
come mostly from agricultural classes. Their standard of 
living has been raised during the War and now they are 
not likely to remain satisfied with their old standard* 
Thirdly, whatever the artisans produce, there already 
exists a demand for their goods and a little organisation 
and advertisement will help them to remain in their 
profession. Fourthly, they can provide for their own 
tools and equipment to begin with and will be willing 
workers in the link that tne Government decide to 
forge for them. Fifthly, they are still being forced and 
exploited either to work in the Karkhanas or in their 
own homes for the Karkhanedar. They will welcome 
to work for the Government, if they are assured of 
regular work. Lastly, there already exists an organisation 
of some sort in some of the industries in different 
provinces where either the co-operative societies are 
working or something else is arranged. Government 
servants know many of the details of these industries and 
there will be no difficulty in nationalising the same. 

When Government experts go about, write reports 
and suggest improvements, they, in a way, admit that 
there is a field for the articles manufactured. They also 
sgem to think that improvement in the method is also 
Ible. What is required is simply to provide money 
/the organisation and to take the industries up as 
jing concerns. Here is a chance for the Government 
Iperts to take the matter up and show to the world 1 



oat Indian Government can show its capability in 
construction and can prove its worth in peace, what it 
has already proved in war* 

During the War, Government collected and spent 
money in astronomical figures. If Government keeps 
up the taxation at this level for a year more the money 
so realised will be more than enough to organise at 
least some of the most important cottage industries. 



96 COTTAGE AND SMAJLL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

Government officials have acquired some knowledge in 
getting war articles manufactured. Now let them 
cater For the needs of civil population. This valuable 
experience should not be lost. Of course, during the 
War there existed a demand and it was so urgent that 
even a low standard of goods was acceptable. When an 
industry is nationalised the workers can easily be forced 
to produce only standard goods. 

It may be said that places of manufacture cannot be 
easily provided in such a short period and if the worker^ 
remain as isolated units they cannot be supervised easily. 
This does not seem to be an insuperable difficulty. Tem- 
porary arrangements may be made as they were mostly 
done in the case of military production. But there does 
not seem to be any necessity to force the worker to 
leave his own home. He may be allowed to work in his 
own cottage. When the purchase will be a Government 
monopoly he can certainly be forced only to produce 
standard goods and, we arc sure, he will be perfectly will- 
ing to do so. Of course, in the organisation there are 
likely to be some mistakes as it is bound to happen 
in such undertakings; but the arrangement should not 
be abandoned on this score. Let the Government once 
realise their responsibility of providing work for the 
masses and take up only those industries for which 
they have got their experts and in the meanwhile let 
them train more men. We are told that there a 
tclligcnt, literate and resourceful soldiers. If so, 
can be easily trained in this type of work. We have 
that some of them are sent out to learn weavi 
dairying, etc., and it is considered that they wi 
become quite efficient in their work only within 
short period of two months. If this is so, they can be 
certainly utilised for organisation work after a training 
of six months or so. Most of them may be absorbed 
as workers and others as supervisors and some of them 
may be utilised for transport work. Many of them 
may become salesmen, others as advertisers, hawkers, 




NATIONALISATION OF COTTAGE INDUSTRIES 97 

etc. At any rate there is a big scope for utilising them 
in the above organisation. We have got already 
semi organised industries crying for improvement. Let 
the Government take these up and place them on a 
sound footing. 

We are sure if once this work is taken up by the 
Government many new industries will suggest them- 
selves and we shall see a prosperous country in a short 
period. 

Once the official organisation functions a new 
orientation will be given to cottage industries which 
will at once raise the prestige and status of the work- 
men. If once the entire machinery of the Government 
is moved to patronise articles mfcde in cottages, we shall 
have a new current of hope electrifying the workers. 
Enthusiasm so created will raise the standard of the 
masses. When once the worker is guaranteed a living 
wage he will be able to place his heart in his work. 
Quality of goods will be immensely improved. Every 
worker will be sure that justice will be done and his 
merits will be recognised. He will then try to show 
his art, which has so far been suppressed, and we 
shall have far more beautiful and artistic designs in 
the market. 

Though the War is over yet the controls are still 

"^continue. The supply of consumer goods is still 

itcd and will remain restricted for some time to come. 

dder the circumstances, the Government has full con- 

lol over the supplies and can thus very easily adjust the 

production accordingly. 

Under this most favourable situation nationalisa- 
tion of cottage industries becomes quite easy. To-day 
consumer goods are not available even at prices fixed 
by the Government and consumers are forced to pay far 
higher prices than the maximum fixed by the Govern* 
ment. Thatbein^so, there is no chance of a slump in the 
market. For nationalisation, therefore, present is tfie 



98 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

best opportunity and it must be taken advantage of 
immediately. 

The only objection that can be raised against this 
type of nationalisation may be the old bogey of Gov- 
ernment competing against private firms. This does 
not seem to us a serious objection inasmuch as 
the number of persons affected will be verv small. 
Those who work as Karkhanedars will only oe affect- 
ed* The Government can no more allow the method 
of exploitation followed in these Karkhanas any more. 
Karkhanas do not employ even 1% of the total popu- 
lation of cottage workers and for their sake we cannot 
imore the interest of the 09% of the people. If 
these Karkhanedars have not keen helpful in the devel- 
opment of industries they cannot very much object 
now. But we think they can easily be absorbed either 
as retail dealers or government servants or commis- 
sion agents. It may also be possible that some via 
medw for keeping them intact may be found out. 
If Government is willing to take over the working 
of big factories during the course of nationalisation 
why then will they object to do the same in the case 
of small Karkhanas? 

The main thing to be considered in all such or- 
ganisations is the worker himself, and he must be 
protected, encouraged and helped. This cannot bf: 
cone without some sort of Government organisa^g-scale 
in which the Government may show us the way* 
developing cottage industries. 

If the idea appeals to the public and the Cover!) 
mem is willing to take it up, the details may be easil 
worked out and difficulties suggested may be easil 
overcome. The idea certainly appeals to us to be vet 
practical and profitable and we wish a trial of it ma 
be made as soon as possible. 



CHAPTER VIII 

ORGANISATION 

We give below a graphic picture of the organi- 
sation required to develop cottage and small indus- 
tries in case the country does agree with our idea 
of nationalising the same. We strongly feel that the 
economic condition of the masses can only improve 
by providing employment through cottage and small 
industries and that can only be achieved by public and 
State help. 

Following table gives the details of the 'organi- 
sation', at a stretch. In order to justify the above 
organisation we would like to add a few words as 
explanation so that the underlying idea may be clearly 
brought out. 

Central Government: The Central Government has 
so far not taken any interest in the development of 
cottage or small-scale industries. At times tne policy 
of tariff has worked against cottage industries; they 
hav done injustice many a times, while helping big 
itries. Time has come when the State should 
isc their responsibility of providing employment 
all and cvcryoody. All talks of improving the 
indard of living pi the masses are of little avail till 
ae economic condition of the people is bettered. If 
JPC once admit the responsibility of finding useful em- 
ployment for the masses, it becomes necessary that in 
a country of huge population the matter should be 
tackled by the best men available. We consider, there* 
fore, that the Department of Cottage Industries be forth- 
with established as one of the main nation-building 
departments, both in the Central and Provincial Govern* 



100 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

mcnts. Sufficient attention to this important subject 
will not be given without providing a separate port- 
folio both in the Centre as well as in the Provinces. 
So long we tag small industries to big industries jus- 
tice will not be done to small worker. Big industrial- 
ists will both be influential and vocal, and will have 
a better hearing inasmuch as they will place their 
requirements in a more definite and clear form. From 
the perusal of the previous pages the readers will 
realise that cottage industries have to be protected 
not only from foreign countries but also from big 
in 'ustrics. In order to do this the same minister should 
not be made incharge of both types of industries. 
There is, however, another reason for creating a 
separate portfolio for cottage industries. Tariff, 
Railways, Trade Commissioners in foreign countries, 
Research and Forests are controlled by the Gov- 
ernment of India and all these things have a great 
bearing upon the development of cottage industries. 
Unless we appoint a separate minister to be incharge 
of cottage industries, justice will not be done, we 
have already pointed out elsewhere that while levying 
import duties cottage industries are sometimes very 
badly hit, specially when the imported article is used as 
a raw material by the cottage workers. Similarly 
the import of raw material at certain centres or ex*x>rt 
of finished goods from that centre, though gives 
cient load to the Railways, yet on account of s 
packages, Railway authorities do not recognise 
importance of giving a special treatment in freig 
charges to cottage industries. In any future researc 
concerned with industries small man requires more 
help and encouragement than big industries, while 
so far small man's claim has never been entertained. 
Aa industrialist can afford to employ technical skill 
or a suitable organisation for research but nobody can 
expect workmen to combine in order to make arrange- 
ment for research in their difficulties. , Similarly the 



.9>< 



TI 

8 



! 1 



I 




ORGANISATION lOt 

question of export consisting of wares collected from 
a number of artisans will remain a difficult proposi- 
tion unless it is organised for the benefit of the cottage 
worker. Trade Commissioners working as repre- 
sentatives of the country in different outside places 
can render very useful help to small worker in provid- 
ing new designs and studying taste and fashions of 
those countries and passing them on to manufacturers, 
Travellers sent abroad will similarly help the workers 
in clearing out collected information. A small man 
will never likely be able to afford to study forcipn 
markets individually or collectively. Big industries 
can take care of themselves and, if need be, can easily 
approach the highest officials for the removal of their 
complaints, while on the other hand, a cottage worker 
cannot have the courage to approach the official, 
and if he dares do it, he cannot effectively place his 
case. We, therefore, require a special minister for 
cottage industries both in the Centre and in the Pro- 
vinces a minister who will be the guide, patron, a 
teacher and adviser to the cottage worker as well as an 
alert sympathiser of the poor. 

To provide a minister without sufficient eouip* 
mcnt and staff will not be of much help. We nave 
given details of the functions as well as staff required 
in the case of Provincial ministers. We have not done 
so in the case of Minister-in-Chargc at the Centre. 
However, we have tried to indicate his responsibi- 
lities in different lines and that will give a sufficient 
idea as to what type of staff and equipment will be 
needed. However, let us point out that the minister 
must be provided with a very good library, arrange* 
ment for collecting statistics and all the details of 
manufacture. He must possess reliable figures of the 
people employed in different trades and callings and 
must have technical experts to advise him as to what 
new industries can be started and with what taw 
material. He must also possess a detailed knowledge of 



IO2 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

the fashion, taste and requirements of the foreign 
countries. His department must possess information 
about the raw material available and the purpose to 
which it can be utilised. 

During the War the Government at the Centre 
took frantic efforts in organising the production of 
new articles, which were either imported from the 
foreign countries or whose need was felt for one 
thing or the other. Production of woollen or silken 
goods and number of chemicals for which India had 
the raw material are good instances in point. If 
similar efforts are continued and team work amongst 
different experts is organised at the Centre, we shall 
see that within a short period we shall be providing 
all our needs and may be able to establish trade in 
foreign markets. We arc perfectly convinced that there 
will be more than ample work for the Minister In- 
Chargc at the Centre and he will render very good help 
to provinces. As a matter of fact, we are fully sure that 
in the beginning, for a few years, the amount of work 
will be so much that he will have to get a few assis- 
tants to collect, tabulate, collate and sift the infor- 
mation required. Great details of different indus- 
tries as worked in the country and abroad and the raw 
material and equipment needed will have to be collected 
and utilised which will keep the entire staff very busy. 
Given the spirit and keenness, and we are sure the 
labours of the Minister will be very well utilised. 

The Minister In-Charge of cottage industries in 
the provinces will be helped by the Director of Cot- 
tage Industries. The Director will be executive offi- 
cial head of the department and will be helped by the 
statutory committee of non-officials* * We have provided 
a statutory committee instead of an Advisory one, 
for the simple reason that the latter is not effective. 
We have noted that when the advice of non-officials 
is not cared for, they naturally lose interest in their 
work and do not put in their best efforts. Though we 



ORGANISATION JOJ 

have gone into the details of the organisation of this 
committee yet this is a matter of detail and we do not 
press for the rigidity of the same. Our fmain purpose 
in giving these details is simply to indicate the lines 
upon which the organisation should work. 

So far the Governments have considered an 
I.C.S. Officer to be the best for the purpose. He 
may be a very good administrator but he has no knowl- 
edge of the intricacies of business nor can he enter into 
die sentiment of the people to visualise their diffi- 
culties. Besides this he is quietly transferred to another 
department as soon as he begins to pick up the de- 
tails. We strongly feel that trie development of in- 
dustries is only possible if businessmen are appointed 
on this responsible post. The post of a Director of 
Industries must be considered to be an honour for a 
non-official business man so that he may consider his 
reputation at stake while taking up that job, and it 
should not be filled permanently, so that new blood 
is always transfused and the aevelopment docs not 
die for want of initiative. The selection of this im- 
portant personality is the pivot of our organisation. 
If right type of man is appointed and on temporary 
basis, say for a period varying from 3 to 5 years, half 
of the battle will be won. We lay special emphasis 
on the selection of the Director of Industries. All 
our attempts for development will fall flat if right type 
of man is not selected. 

Under the Director of Industries we have appoint- 
ed a few Deputy Directors to be incharge or differ- 
ent lines of work, which will have to be taken up by 
the Department* The above table gives the detailed 
activities of the different Deputy Directors, still few 
words may not be out of place as a sort of elucidation. 

The first and the most important activity is the 
method of controlling finances, specially the accounts 
side of it. In business, immediate steps will have to be 
taken with very far-reaching effects, but if on account 



IO4 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

of red-tape of the finance department these things are 
not allowed to be done immediately, the business must 
suffer. The Deputy Director In-Charge of finance, 
therefore, should be given a free hand to a very great 
extent so that he may take suitable steps at the proper 
time, and the work may not be allowed to suffer. 
There is no harm if the extent of financial liabilities 
are fixed up but within that maximum he must have 
a free hand in all matters concerning sales, purchases, 
rewards, salaries, etc., etc. 

Co-operative Societies will be another branch 
under him. The present method of spoon-feeding and 
control at every step in financial liabilities is perhaps 
the greatest handicap in the working of co-operative 
societies. Not to allow members to commit mistakes 
and learn from these losses is the greatest hurdle. 
We confess that to learn business by incurring losses 
is a dangerous thing but, undoubtedly, this is the only 
school wherein people are best trained. 

In all Provinces Co-operation is a separate branch 
from Industries, while we have amalgamated both 
these functions under one Deputy Director. We 
have purposely done so. 

There have been many cases where the Registrar of 
Co-operative Societies and the Director of Industries 
have not seen eye to eye with one another and in the 
struggle of these two officials, co-operative societies 
have considerably suffered. Cases are not unknown 
where parallel co-operative societies are formed (/') under 
the Co-operative Department and (//') under the Director 
of Industries to do the same type of work. In such 
parallel societies instead of good rivalry being set up,, 
work has considerably suffered. We want to avoid 
such an eventuality. 

Co-operation is simply a system of work and not 
a business in itself. The work of the Cooperative 
Department should be restricted to the formation of a 
society for certain purposes and the observation of 



ORGANISATION IOJ 

certain rules, by which societies should be governed. 
If we make the Co-operative Department responsible 
for the entire working of the society, we presume the 
Co-operative Department to be an expert Department 
for all walks of life. For want of suitable personnel 
to run a business, co-operative societies have badly 
suffered. The success of business depends less on the 
system but much more on the soundness of the pro- 
position taken up by the undertaking and the method 
in which the business is controlled. By placing all 
types of co-operative societies under the Co-operative 
Department we commit the mistake of handing over 
the business and the investigation of its soundness in 
the hands of those who are ill-qualified for it. 

It may not be out of place to sound a note of warn- 
ing for the guidance of the Deputy Director. The 
work of purchases and sale and standardising of the 
products, etc., will be taken up by co-operative socie- 
ties. For good working of societies we shall require 
men of tact and business ability, which can only be 
acquired by proper training. Every educated man is 
not suitable for every job. We wish that boys of 
workmen themselves be trained to perform these func- 
tions or qualified, shrewd people from amongst the 
workers themselves be selected. Educational quali- 
fication should not be the criterion for enrolment for 
these jobs. Success will entirely depend upon the 
confidence you create amongst the workers and that 
will depend upon the right type of people employed 
on the top. 

The second Deputy Director will be in-charge 
of Research and Education. Research and education 
are entirely two different branches. While a little 
work has been done for educating the workers, but no 
research, worth the name, has been taken up by the 
Industries Department. To employ a few qualified 
persons without giving them any opportunity to keep 
their knowledge up-to-date and call them experts for 



106 COTTAGE AND SMAIX-SCAUS INDUSTRIES 

all times is not a correct method of approach. There 
must be a qualified staff to handle the problems spe- 
cially of technical nature in all their details. These 
research workers must be provided with the neces- 
sary equipment and an up-to-date library. The Direc- 
tor In-Charge of both these subjects must be a man of 
high attainments and he must be able to guide and 
organise the different functions entrusted to him. 
Sufficient money ought to be placed at his disposal to 
carry out his difficult task. 

There are a few Industrial Schools run by the 
Government. The greatest defect in these institu- 
tions is that they have not been able to create dignity 
of labour amongst their students and the teachers 
themselves shirk from working with their own hands. 
No method exists to refresh their training and to 
imbibe the new methods adopted in other places. 
Mutual exchange of ideas amongst teachers of differ- 
ent provinces is never practised. Business men, in- 
dustrialists and workmen from actual trade are never 
brought in touch with institutions nor any system of 
lecturing by practical experts exists. 

There are industries which are worked both on big 
as well as on small scale. There are very capable men 
working in these industries and they can usefully help 
these institutions if they are asked to prepare special 
lectures for the students and workers occasionally* 
Of course, they will have to be paid* There are no 
museums attached to these schools where best patterns 
of workmanship, both indigenous as well as foreign, 
may be exhibited to create curiosity amongst students 
ana visitors, nor any method to collect useful infor- 
mation from books and journals for the guidance of the 
students. The whole system requires overhauling and 
reconstruction in order to make the institutions a place 
of pilgrimage not only for students but for the best 
artisan in that line. Isolation of teachers from trade 
is another handicap. Regular meetings of workmen 



ORGANISATION IOJ 

should be organised and their criticism on the work of 
students should be invited. Difficulties of workmen 
should be heard, discussed and overcome. With 
a sympathetic heart and with an air of friendship with 
workers new improvements will be assured. It is not 
the workmen themselves who will be benefited by 
such an arrangement but the teachers themselves will 
also learn a lot. 

We have provided a third Deputy Director for in- 
formation, publicity and propaganda. Under these 
headings we have fixed up different functions, which 
this officer is expected to do. 

Unless and until there is created a link through 
which the Indian worker is given the necessary infor- 
mation about his colleague in foreign countries very 
little headway can be made. 

We wish the readers may study Bangle Industry 
of Firozabad, and, we are sure, they will at once be con* 
vinced of the possibilities of development. The bangle 
makers of Firozabad without going to foreign coun- 
tries and without any help from the so-called Govern- 
ment experts, studied the details of the foreign articles 
and have themselves been able to manufacture varie- 
ties which were unknown before and through processes 
evolved by them, which are simple, ingenious and 
effective. By keeping in touch with the development 
in foreign countries we shall be able to widen the 
outlook of our workers and give them a chance of 
utilising their experience, skill and knowledge to produce 
a new material. 

The fourth Director will be in charge of museums 
and miscellaneous functions. We have not elucidated 
his functions in detail as it will be the result of the 
future development and will depend upon actual work- 
ing of this organisation. 

If the above organisation is brought into being, 
we are sure, the work of the development of cottage 
industries will be systematically organised and cottage 



I08 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

industries will be placed on sound footing. Per* 
manent staff will be trained and we shall be helping the 
workers at every step and thus will be placing in their 
hands enough money by which their standard of living 
will be raised and industries will become prosperous. 



PART II 

DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 

In Part I we have discussed the question of the 
importance of cottage industries, and their advantages 
and disadvantages. In this part we shall try to give 
a short description of different industries, which are 
already in existence so that the extent and importance 
of cottage industries may be' brought home to the 
public and they may be in a position to understand 
as to how many persons are affected by this type of 
employment. We shall try to avoid the technical 
details of different industries, unless and until we find 
it necessary in order to convince the readers about the 
easy development of any of them. 

It is unfortunate that in spite of the fact that a 
good many surveys of cottage industries have been 
taken up by different provinces, and.reports on them have 
been published, there is still very meagre information 
about the number of persons employed tnerein and the 
extent of annual production of these industries. In 
spite of the fact that very little encouragement has been 
given for their development and in spite of the fact 
that the leaders of public opinion ana the financiers 
have not trial to give them as much help as 
they ought to have the production of these indus- 
tries far exceeds the production of articles manu- 
factured in big-scale industries. Of course, as far 
as the number of people employed is concerned, it 
will always remain to be far larger than that in organised 
big industries. If we were once convinced that we can 
ever be able to give employment to our huge population 
of our country who have to be diverted from agriculture, 



UO COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

we would have ncyet stressed the need of the develop- 
ment of cottage industries. Cottage industries not 
only provide the greatest employment but they affect 
the economic position of the people in general. 

In this description we have knowingly avoided 
to mention those important centres where cottage 
industries are carried on, as we fear, that it would have 
given an impression that barring these centres such 
industries have no important position in the economy 
of the country as a whole. We have mentioned only 
a few places simply to emphasise the extensive scale 
upon which such industries are followed in a parti- 
cular locality. 

In this part we have also avoided the details of the 
possibilities of new industries which are allied to those 
already described, as we think that such a procedure 
will confuse the reader and they will not be able to 
concentrate themselves upon new industries. We have, 
therefore, decided to follow this course in Part III, 
wherein we have only selected those industries which 
can easily be introduced as they have already been success- 
fully tried, on a small scale in foreign countries. Readers, 
therefore, will excuse us if we have adopted this course 
of description. Perhaps, it would have been a more 
complete method of description if we would have des- 
cribed, for instance, new industries connected with leather 
under leather trade. But this would not have given 
a complete picture of the difficulties with which we 
shall be confronted nor could the difficulties which under 
those industries will have to be developed be fiilly ex- 
plained. For new industries, a different type of or- 
ganisation, training and education may be required 
and all these, if mixed up with those already existing 
will not clear out the points as completely as they would 
do if a separate place is assigned to them. 

TEXTILE 
Textile is one of the oldest industries o the country 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES lit 

and though it has suffered vicissitudes from time ta 
time, it still gives employment to a very large number 
of people. Mahatma Gandhi has singled out this in- 
dustry and has laid the greatest stress upon it. The 
work, however, is full of difficulties inasmuch as a 
cottage worker has to compete against the most orga- 
nised industry in the country. After a perusal of the 
description of this trade given in books of history, 
one is surprisingly convinced about the wonderful 
capacity of the artisan in his having remained in this 
trade against heavy odds and his having survived 
onslaughts of the most devastating nature, 

It is miraculous that cottage weaver has defied 
the huge organisation of textile industry not only in, 
India but also in Ireland, Germany and other countries. 
Much against our wish we shall try to give a very short 
description of this industry in its different phases. 

GINNING AND CARDING 

The first stage in the production of cloth is the 
ginning of cotton. In olden days cotton was ginned 
in every village, but now the industry has almost dis- 
appeared. It is now followed only cither when the 
cultivator requires small quantities of lint for his own 
use or wishes to keep the cotton seed for next culti- 
vation. In some villages the cultivator still gins by hand 
in order to supply his cattle with this important feed. 
However, it is not an important indusuy. In places 
where electricity may be made available the introduc- 
tion of small gins may be advantageously made use of 
and it will give some money to the cultivator instead 
of selling his cotton. He will begin to sell ginned cot* 
ton and utilise die seed for cattle feed. We suggest, 
therefore, that this industry should be organised when 
the introduction of cheap electricity is included in the 
future programme of the Government 

Girding, though not as efficient as done by 
machine, is followed in every village. It is quite an. 



II Z COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

inexpensive method and we hope will survive for card- 
ing lint, stuffing the winter clothing and supplying 
for hand-spinning. 

SPINNING 

For the preparation of yarn, spinning is the first 
stage whether we use cotton, wool, silk, hemp, jute 
or any other fibre as our raw material. 

Before the machine age dawned, India was export- 
ing cotton clothes to France, England and many other 
foreign countries. Even after the machine age started it 
required an organised effort both from the British Gov- 
ernment in England and in India to stop our cloth ex- 
port. It was a fashion to wear Indian-made cloth specially 
among ladies and the fashion could not die out till the 
wearers were punished with fine and imprisonment. 
We need not go into the old sad history of the methods 
adopted to achieve this end. This will not help us in 
any way, in our present attempt, to revive the industry. 

Nobody can hold that a spinner, if he works for 
the whole day on his job, is likely to get a living wage 
even at a rate the All India Spinners' Association has 
decided to give. But it must be admitted that the 
women folk generally, and infirm and old ladies parti- 
cularly cannot utilise their time for anything more 
usefully. Even before Mahatma Gandhi gave the 
fillip to hand -spinning, the industry existed to a small 
extent. Hand-spun yarn was utilised for different 
types of clothes in villages. Thick woven doth re- 
quired for transporting grain, fodder and other agri- 
cultural commodities was woven from the hand-spun 
yarn almost in every village. Garnets were mostly 
woven out of this yam. Mahatma Gandhi decided to 
identify himself with the poor and distributed money 
by means of organising hand-spinning and weaving in 
ihe countryside. We need not enter into the details 
of economics of this industry as it is admitted that it 
is an employment and not & paying proposition. But 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 

nobody can deny that as an occupation nothing can 
improve upon it. Since the time Mahatmaji has 
made Khaddar wearing as a condition precedent for 
the members of the Congress, there has been created 
a class of spinners in the country. Mahatma Gandhi 
visualises that all should spin enough for their own 
needs, and one must leave purchasing cloth from out- 
side. As the basis of this scheme is not on economic 
grounds, spinning has not become common in the 
country. Even ir the spun-yarn would have been as 
strong as that of the mills, on account of its high 
price it might not have been patronised by the people. 
It must, however, be admitted that since the starting 
of the All-India Spinners' Association the quality of 
yarn has considerably improved but there is still a great 
gap to be filled up. Since we do not think there will 
ever come a time when we shall be able to clothe the 
whole country with the hand-spun yarn we are afraid 
the industry will not last long unless it is based on better 
economic grounds. However, for the guidance of 
workers in the fields, we offer a few suggestions for 
their consideration. 

As Mahatma Gandhi himself suggested the pre- 
sent Charkha must be improved. It is a pity that, 
in spite of a reward of a lac of rupees, an improved 
Charkha could not be invented. We wish a further 
frantic effort be made and the reward must be adver- 
tised in all the countries of the world. No matter if 
a higher reward may be found necessary. It seems 
to be essential that the terms of competition should 
be made as clear as possible, so that mechanically- 
minded persons may be induced to compete. 

If the organisers agree to change the principle of 
Charkha the old spinning; jenny may be tried. We 
learn that China has made considerable improvement 
in the spinning-wheel. If so, it will be worth while 
to COOT it* The War has ended and it will be quite 
a feasible prpposition. 

8 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

Further we propose the following other lines of 
attack on the problem. Blending ot different types 
of cotton, mixing of fibres other than cotton, chemical 
treatment of cotton before turning to slivers, use of 
some chemicals to keep cotton moist, and the improve- 
ment of carding are some of the methods to be simul- 
taneously tried along with the improvement of Charkha. 
Experiments with machine-made slivers be made to find 
out as to how far the quality and production are effected. 
We do not claim any originality in these suggestions 
but we throw them out for whatever they are worth. 

Report about the survey on Cottage Industry in 
the Madras Presidency has examined the question of 
hand-spinning in a very great detail, and it would 
not be out of place to give a few relevant points and 
calculations below. The author has compared the cost 
of spinning yarn of 10 and 40 counts both made by hand 
and by mill as follows : 

DETAILS OF COST FOR ics. BY HAND 

Rs. as. p. 

Four viss of unginned cotton . . . . . . . . i 8 o 

Ginning Charges .. .. .. .. .. .. 036 



x ii 6 
Deduct cost of seed separated from 3 Vis. . . . . 060 



i 5 * 
Charges for carding and sliver making for i viss-3 Ibs. 030 



i 8 6 
Loss in carding ............ oio 



196 
Cost of yarn i viss or 3 Ibs i o o 

296 
Cost of 10 Ibs . . 8 12 o 

The cost of mill-made yarn us. is about Rs. 6-4-0 to 6-8-0. 
Difference in price is Rs. 2-8*0 pet 10 Ibs. 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 1 1 f 

(40 Hanks made i Ib. of the yarn in 40$.) 

Rs. as. p. 

Cost of cotton i. 1/8 Ib. including wastage . . . . 0120 
Labour for spinning . . .. .. .. .. 280 

Cost of i Ib. yarn . . . . . . . . . . . . 340 

Value of i o Ibs. Hand-spun yarn .. .. .. 32 8 <> 

Mill-made yarn 10 Ibs. costs . . . , . . ..1120-. 



Difference in price 2160* 

The difference in prices of mill and hand- 
spun yarn was calculated in 1926 as follows : 

Count of jam Price of band- spun jam Price of mi I I- spun y arm. 

10 to 12 . . . . Re. -/i 3/- to -/i4/- Re. -/8/- to -/io/- 

208 Re. 1/8 Less than Re. i/- 

30$ Re. 1/14 Less than Re, 1/2 

At present the difference, perhaps, would be much 
more. The above statement makes another weakness 
clear, that higher the counts the more is the difference* 
This means that it may become some time business 
proposition to spin lower counts while the spinning, 
of higher counts will not pay. 

In India people generally use cotton for stuffing 
their beds and covers during winter season. After 
the season in the next year cotton has to be changed. 
In villages of U.P., and the Punjab and in other places the 
quantity of used cotton available in this way is const* 
aerable. Such cotton cannot be sold to the mills but 
can with advantage be utilised for spinning coarse 
yarn. Such yarn can be utilised for carpets, Durris^ 
Niwar and the like. This line, if organised, may give 
employment to cottage worker without competition* 
The same report has observed a few more weak point* 
with which we agree. It points out the imperfection^ 
of the Charkha as follows: 



1 16 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

i. Intermittent twisting and winding. 
z. Necessity for the use of both hands. 

3. Sraallness of output. 

4. It attempts only one out of the several opera- 
tions in the process of transformation of cotton 
into yarn and there is no simultaneous arrange- 
ment for carding, drawing, etc. 

5. The yarn (cotton) spun on the Charkha does not 
easily always stand the strain of fly-shuttle loom. 

We hope these defects may be removed and their 
removal may be a condition precedent for giving an 
award to the improved wheel. 

In spite of all the objections that can be raised 
against hand-spinning there is a very pertinent advantage 
in its favour which has been pointed out over and over 
again by its advocates. They rightly remark that 
"nobody can point out any better and easier employ- 
ment for such a large population of the country." 
Though at present hand-spinning is given the dignity 
of labour and also a certain prestige by the nation, yet 
hand -spinning was never considered to be a contemp- 
tuous occupation. An idle brain is a devil's workshop 
and to keep such a huge population without employ- 
ment is to release the devilish force that idleness creates. 
To avoid this disruptive force, is it not desirable that 
the nation must pay a certain compensation? Look- 
ing from that point of view, either you will have to 
provide some better and more paying means of employ- 
ment (which seems to be an impossibility) or pay tor it. 
If the whole nation realises this important factor, they 
should not mind paying a little more price to keep 
the spinner employed even by paying a higher wage. 

The author of the Madras Report has very well 

put the whole thing in the following words. It says, 

It should, however, add to the meagre earnings of the 

ordinary agriculturist, if he takes to it for want of a 

more suitable subsidiary occupation. Ordinarily he 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 1 17 

grows his cotton, his women-folk are not alien to the art 
of spinning and in the domestic economy, he finds his 
coarse clothes more suitable to his taste and calling. 
To the old and infirm and to those who could find no 
better occupation, however meagre might be the 
earnings, it is a substantial addition to the family income 
and in the absence of more universally agreeable occu- 
pation suitable to the social status of the different 
classes of people hand -spinning has its own merit." It 
goes on to say further, "There are other industries, for 
instance coir spinning, palmyra plaiting, etc., which 
bring no better income but arc still carried on and com- 
pared to them hand-spinning is more homely and digni- 
fied. The industry involves little initial outlay and 
the mechanism of the Charkha is so simple that an ordi- 
nary carpenter could prepare it without much labour. 
Altnough the occupation may be monotonous, it does 
not demand any physical strength beyond staying power. 

Till the time an improvement is made in the Char- 
kha it may be worth while to prohibit mill-made yarn for 
the use of the following articles. This may encourage the 
industry without in any way calling for a big sacrifice 
from the people. Durris, carpets, Niwar ropes and 
other such articles where either twist does not count or 
which are very coarse. Imports of such articles from 
foreign countries at the same time be prohibited. 

Further a study may be made as to what best ca0 
be made from hand-spun yarn. There may be several 
articles found which may be added to the above list 
with advantage. For instance, we learn from the 
Bombay Report that some special type of yam was 
made by Momin women and this was used for Zora 
weaving. It has now been replaced by mill-made yarn 
and these women are thrown out of employment. 
Such encroachments should be avoided. 
WEAVING 

The greatest objection against the hand-spun 
yam is thai it affects the profession of weaving 



1 1 8 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

<juite considerably and we have no right to spoil the 
economics of the weaver in forcing him to weave this 
type of yarn. It must be admitted that hand-spun 
yarn takes a longer time to weave and brings less income 
to the weaver. When we consider the question of 
spinner we should not lose sight of the weaver. If we 
<:ould utilise all our weavers for weaving hand-spun 
yarn and could pay them as much as they are now 
paid by the Spinners' Association, we would have no 
objection although the wages fixed by the All-India 
Spinners' Association to the weaver cannot be said to 
be adequate, but it may be recommended inasmuch 
as it gives a regular income and the weaver is not ex- 
ploited by any middle man. The other economic ob- 
jection against cloth made from hand-spun yarn is that 
it is costlier than mill-made cloth of the same count. 
It lasts less and thus proves expensive in the long run. 
It is only for the rich who can make use of it but the 
poor cannot afford to have it. 

In order, however, to develop the hand-spinning 
industry without detriment to the weaving industry 
we may state that Khaddar must be protected against 
adulteration or competition by the mills. If such a 
protection is granted and the nation takes to it, the 
solution of employing the people to some extent may 
:be found. Leaving Khaddar alone it must be admitted 
that the weaver has managed to exist against big or- 
ganised factories. If the middle man would not have 
exploited him to his own ends he would have^ perhaps, 
given the factories a successful pitched battle. A brave 
soldier who has so far succeeded in fighting his glori- 
ous battle must be helped, encouraged and protected. 

It is a pity that the Review of the Trade of India 
generally does not give information about cottage 
industries though they are a great factor in trade, not 
there is any arrangement to collect annual figures of 
employment in cottage industries and their produc- 
tion. There seems to be no reason as to why these 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 

statistics be left for collection to the Provinces when- 
ever they deem it to do so or they be collected only at the 
time of census. When we find that the employment 
the handloom industry provides is far in excess to mill 
industry it is but necessary that the Government should 
issue a special Review every year about cottage indus- 
tries and if they so desire they may compare it with 
mill industry. 

We give below some figures from the Facts Finding 
Committee about the employment and production of 
handloom industry in India: 

The number of active looms is about 17 lacs out 
of which more than 2,65,000, i.e., 13% looms are re- 
ported to be idle. Out of these looms 14,00,000, i.e., 72% 
are engaged in weaving cotton textile, 99,000 looms, 
i.e., 5% in wool, 3,71,000, i.e., 16% in silk 25,000 or 
i% in artificial silk and 1,00,000, i.e., 6% in other 
textile mixtures. 

As regards the quality of the looms employed 
64% are throw shuttle looms, 3 5 % Fly shuttle looms 
and i% of other categories. 

The number of weavers is 14, 34,000 whole-time and 
7,47,000 part-time. The total being 24,00,000 (includ- 
ing 1,75,000 estimated for smaller states). The number 
of paid assistants was 2,53,000 and unpaid 25,73,000. 
Thus the total number of people employed comes to 
60 lacs. In addition to these there are the dependents 
whose number cannot be l^ss than 40 lacs. Assuming 
that each of the 24 lacs of Weavers has to support be- 
sides himself 3 persons on an average the total popu- 
lation depending on the industry must be, according 
to the above report, round about 10 millions or one 
crore. The total value of hand-woven cloth accord- 
ing to the Committee in 1939 works out to 72*80 
ctores, Cotton cloth 47 crores, silk ij crores, arti- 
ficial silk 4 crores and wool 3 crores. 

Total production of mill-made cloth in 19 36^57 
comes to 3,220 million yards against 1,26; million 



110 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

yatds from handlooms. According to the above re- 
port the mill-made cloth has replaced the imports 
and not the handloom cloth. Handlooms give em- 
ployment to four-fifths of the total number of workers 
employed in the cotton textile industry. The cotton 
textile industry employs only 5 lacs workers of whom a 
considerable number of workers are employed in spin- 
ning mills producing yarn for the handloom. Thus 
although to-day mills are producing 68% of the total 
cloth they employ only a fifth of the total number of 
workers in the cotton textile industry. 

The same report, however, regrets that the fall in 
earnings of the weavers has been tremendous during 
the last ten years and in certain cases it is as high as 
80%. 

The greatest weakness in handloom weaving, 
however, is that it uses the mill-made yarn and yet had 
ultimately to compete with the mills. You cannot 
rely upon a weapon made in your enemy's factory. 
The mill industry can at any time stop the supply or 
raise the price of the yarn to a pitch that it no more 
remains a business proposition for the weaver to 
prepare cloth. It is true that there are a few mills 
which simply spin, but do not weave. But their num- 
ber is very small and if the spinning and weaving mills 
will ever think of raising the price of the yarn, these 
mills will willingly do so and will like to make higher 
profits. Of course, it will always be a paying propo- 
sition for a spinning and weaving mill to raise the price 
of yarn and lower the price of cloth to drive out the 
competitor from the field. Not only the mills can 
raise the price of yarn but they may refuse to supply 
sufficient yarn. Besides the above difficulties yarn 
becomes expensive on account of freight charges* 
octroi duty and middleman's profit. At least two 
middlemen are employed by the mills. In small 
places there may yet be a third middleman. To add to 
the trouble sometimes the yarn is less in weight, less 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES IZl 

in number of hanks and lower in counts. The weaver 
who generally purchases on credit has to suffer know- 
ingly these disadvantages. In this country all such 
cases are governed by the general law of cheating and 
the Government has not seen its way to organise a 
civil police to protect the citi2ens from such decep- 
tive practices. Cheating in this way is rampant and 
there being no check, honest man always suffers. We 
wish some legislative measures be adopted to check 
such malpractices. 

The other greatest weakness of the weaver is his 
financial position. He has no security to offer against 
credit. He is too poor and indigent. His position 
has become so hopeless that he has lost his honesty also. 
He lives a fatalist life and tries somehow to drag on. 
The middleman from whom he purchases his raw 
material charges a higher price in the first instance and 
supplies him inferior article. Since he has no security 
against his advances, the dealer forces him to sell the 
finished product to himself alone, and thereby also 
deprives the weaver of getting a good wage. The 
weaver is unable to wait and has to dispose of his cloth 
at any price. Thus the dealer profits at both ends. 
On account of this difficulty there has arisen a class 
of dealers who supply the yarn, give the design and pur- 
chase the cloth. This method gives the weaver a 
regular income but the cream of trade goes to the 
middleman. It has been proved by several survey 
reports that whenever the price of handloom clotn 
goes down middleman's profits are not affected. 
Wages are only lowered in such a case. Some middle- 
men have started their own factories wherein they 
arrange for the tools and the weavers are required to 
work either on daily wages or on piece work. In 
these places also the poor man is exploited. 

The only solution to overcome this difficulty, 
as we have pointed out elsewhere, is to start spinning 
factories for the weavers. These concerns may be 



112 COTTAGE AND SMALfc-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

limited companies but the profit made by them should 
not exceed a certain figure. They should supply yarn 
to the weaver at fixed prices. Marketing of finished 
products should also be organised. The smaller the 
spinning unit the better, so that they may be located 
at number of places to avoid transport charges. Un- 
less this is done, handloom will not be able to hold 
its own. 

Handloom industry produces all types of cloth 
from the coarsest to the finest and it may be true to say 
that if the Indian Mills only supply all types of yarns, 
plain as well as coloured, no weaving mill need func- 
tion in the country. The handloom weavers will 
supply the entire need and the industry will be very 
well distributed throughout India. Perhaps, there 
may remain the necessity of finishing cloth, as we have 
stated elsewhere. That being so, is it not desirable 
in national interests to see that such an industry is not 
allowed to disappear ? 

Weavers, in spite of being illiterate and not being 
helped by the scientists to give up-to-date ideas, are 
keen and alert to take to new designs and at times, 
they have produced artistic and beautiful cloth. All 
this proves that they are neither conservatives nor ob- 
livious to progress. 

There are many special advantages available to 
the handloom industry and these have allowed the 
weaver to exist in spite of the disaster that has visited 
him so often. The first and the foremost advantage 
is the display of colours which mills cannot easily do. 
Secondly, handloom weaver can interweave the cloth 
with gold and silver threads and he can easily beautify 
the borders. Thirdly, the handloom weaver can weave 
any width and size to suit his customer's requirements. 
Or course, he can hold his own easy in weaving coarse 
doth of low counts, as we have stated elsewhere. 

Now looking to the importance of the industry as 
well as to the fact that it gives the greatest employment 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 

to the people, it seems to be desirable to protect the 
weaver against the organised textile industry. It is a 
pity that the mill-owners do not realise the necessity 
of the principle of "live and let live* and they decry all 
attempts for protection. They quietly forget that the 
mill industry has survived not on account of their or- 
ganisation, but more so by the sacrifice that the people 
of this country have made by boycotting foreign 
goods and patronising Indian mill-made cloth. Tne 
country has also, at times, suffered financially in levying 
the protective duty both on yarn and cloth. 

The question of protecting the handloom industry 
against mill industry has been investigated in the re- 
port of the Bombay Economic and Industrial Survey 
Committee in 1938 of which the well-known indus- 
trialist, Sir Purushottam Das Thakur Das, Kt. was the 
Chairman. On page 1 5 6, the Report says, "Represen- 
tatives of the Bombay and Ahmedabad Mill Owners* 
Association attempted to prove by reference to statis- 
tics of mill production, imports, the estimated hand- 
loom production, etc., that the organised cotton tex- 
tile industry was mainly competing with the products 
of similarly organised foreign textile industries and not 
with those of the local handloom weavers. We are 
unable to accept this contention in toto. There is no 
doubt that the mill product whether imported or in- 
digenous, has been steadily encroaching on what used 
to be the handloom weaver's preserve and the most 
recent example of such penetration is in the field of wo- 
men's clothing. It may be true that the mills are not 
making saris and khans exactly of the kind which the 
handlooms make, but they are certainly making saris 
and bodice cloth which women have for various reasons 
taken to wearing in preference to the handloom variety. 
The representatives of various Handloom Weavers' 
Association such as those of Brihan Maharashtra 
Weavers' Association, Karnatak Weavers' Association, 
The Industrial Co-operative Association, Ahmadaagar; 



124 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

The Industrial Co-operative Association Hubli, etc., 
bitterly complained of this competition and some of 
them suggested the imposition of a duty on mill cloth, 
while others pleaded for a statutory division of the tex- 
tile market between the mill industry and the hand- 
loom weaving industry. We are unable to consider 
these suggestions in detail and make our recommenda- 
tions thereon, because we are convinced that unless 
power is obtained to control imports effectively, any 
such action may result in benefit to neither the local 
handloom weaving industry nor the local mill industry* 
Moreover, the organised mill not located only in this 
Province and any action taken by the Provincial Govern- 
ment may only result in loss to the local mill industry 
without any advantage to the handloom weavers. 
Finally all such actions restrictive in some measure or 
other of the activity of large-scale industries inevitably 
raise inter-provincial and inter-state questions which 
cannot be solved by the unilateral action of a single 
Provincial Government. In our opinion the question 
of regulating the activities of large-scale industries 
particularly the textile industry which compete with 
cottage industries is a subject which cannot be decided 
upon by the Bombay Government and we recommend 
that this question should be referred by the Bombay 
Government to a Special Conference of the representa- 
tives of the Government of India and the other Pro- 
vinces and State Governments in the country and Pro- 
vincial action should follow the lines of an agreed 
policy that such a conference may adopt. We would 
like at the same time to record our opinion that in 
case powers are obtained to control imports as suggest- 
ed above and an agreement is obtained from the other 
Provincial and State Governments on the matter of the 
regulation of large-scale industries compering with 
cottage industries, some regulation of the kind referred 
to above particularly a division of the market accom- 
panied by a duty, if necessary, to prevent the encroach- 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES IZJ 

mcnt of the mill market into the handloom market 
offers a possible solution. We think, however, that 
the whole question should be examined in all its various 
aspects by the Conference the convening of which by 
the Bombay Government we have recommended 
above." 

The Report could not decide this question simply 
because it was not a Provincial matter. It the Committee 
would have been organized by Government of India, 
some method of protecting the handloom industry 
might have been found. Since it has been admitted 
that there exists competition between the mill and the 
handloom industry, and that the latter is far weaker than 
the former, it is but necessary that the Government of 
India should come to the help of the latter. 

It should now be agreed that there exists a com- 
petition between the handloom and mill industry and 
that competition can only be avoided by Government 
intervention inasmuch as the handloom weavers are 
not organised and they are, therefore, unable to place 
their grievances before the Government. Besides they 
compete blindly amongst themselves and so cannot easily 
combine and add to it the disadvantage of using the 
mill-made yarn for their cloth production. 

Without going into more details we propose that a 
legislation should be enacted to prohibit the Indian mill 
industry not to encroach upon the field of handloom in- 
dustry. The entire field of production should be divid- 
ed amongst the handloom and mill industries and certain 
counts should not be woven by the mills and should be ex- 
clusively left for the handloom industry. Similarly the 
mill industry should be prohibited from encroachment 
upon the field of production which has remained 
the main province of the handloom industry. In cases 
where the protection has to be granted against die import 
of certain counts of yarns from foreign countries, wnich 
may be mostly used by the handloom industry, the in- 
terest of hancjloom industry should not be ignored. In 



126 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

cases where the protection is necessary, a rebate should 
be allowed to hold the production from this imported 
yarn or some other method may be evolved, so that 
the industry may not be killed in order to protect the 
mill industry. 

In all future developments of textile industry only 
new spinning mills should be allowed to be erected and 
the existing mills must be forced to set apart a certain 
percentage of yarn to be sold as such. In no case weav- 
ing looms in the existing mills be allowed to increase. 
The recent restriction proposed by the Government of 
India is not enough. 

The tastes of the people always change and equip- 
ments and methods are found out to cater any such 
changes. Due to these changes number of methods 
have been evolved in finishing the cloth in an attractive 
manner. We cannot expect from handloom weavers to 
employ all these means in the manufacture of their goods. 
It is one of the great handicaps on account of which 
handloom industry has suffered in competition with 
the factory-made cloth. It has, therefore, been suggest- 
ed under a different heading, and in a separate fist in 
the body of this book that the finishing of cloth should 
be organised, where all cloth prepared by handloom 
should first go before it is marketed. We do not want 
to duplicate the same idea here. 

Since handloom gives far more employment to the 
people than factories we must help the weavers and 
grant them protection both against foreign and internal 
competition. 

Printingof Cloth It is an important cottage industry 
which has developed in different localities. Some of 
our prints are in demand in foreign countries and orders 
are always repeated. If the industry is well organised 
here is a room for the activities of both the middleman 
as well as for the worker. In order to capture the foreign 
market, however, it is essential that our goods be stand- 
ardised, and a strict control to keep the exported article 



DESCRIPTION OP EXISTING INDUSTRIES 

of a certain standard be maintained without which we 
cannot preserve our reputation. 

There is need of improvement both in technique 
and supply of raw material specially the colours and 
mordants. If the cheap method of paper stencils be in- 
troduced as in Japan, designs can be varied at will and 
the production will become cheaper. Printing is a 
chemical process and it requires more knowledge of 
chemical reaction than possessed by our workmen or 
organisers. We also require travellers to go about and 
study the taste of the people and advise the designers to 
change their designs accordingly. Laws and rules must 
be framed by which a new design may easily be protected. 
There is, unfortunately, cut-throat competition amongst 
the dealers and we know that in cutting prices middleman 
seldom suffers, but the poor worker is always hit hard. 
Some sort of association to avoid undue competition be 
formed and its authority be recognised by law as has 
been done in case of sugar and cement. 

Production of designs cultivates a special aesthetic 
taste. We recommend that along with ordinary drawing, 
such useful and economic drawing should be taught to 
our children in schools. If it is properly done we may 
be able to produce many young persons specially girls 
who can earn a decent living by providing designs and 
selling them. To employ Government experts who are 
likely to lose their initiative after some time is a poor 
attempt in this line. 

Fastness of colour and type of cloth used are very im~ 
portant factors in trade and it seems to be desirable that 
some arrangement of certifying the grade and quality of 
the articles sold should be printed on every piece before 
it goes for sale. There has already been started decep- 
tion in this respect and if not checked the industry will 
be ruined. Arrangement for grading and certifying 
of goods meant for export should at once be introduced. 

Carpet Manufarture It has a great future but thit 
trade is entirely disorganised. A great deal has to be 



128 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

done in the blending of different fibres; the effect of 
colour has to be studied and the worker has to be 
provided with cheap raw material which can cheaply 
DC secured from many sources. Standardising the 
quality can help much in increasing sales and consump- 
tion. We have an assured market both in India and 
abroad, provided the sale is organized and quality gua- 
ranteed. Perhaps only in Hyderabad State an effective 
arrangement to develop carpet industry has been made. 
Government has established an experimental carpet 
factory in Wardugal an old centre for this industry. 
Number of looms now has increased from 87 to 350 
and now rugs and carpets to the value of Rs. 1,20,000 
have been exported in 1943 against the previous export 
of Rs. 30,000 only. Best carpets are said to be 
produced here. 

Strings & Ropes Cotton strings and ropes are used 
for tents, nose-strings for cattle and for number of other 
things. They are made from cotton yarn waste and also 
from cotton yarn. Both plain and coloured strings are 
made. In fancy strings, variety of colours is displayed. 
In some places people have tried to manufacture waist 
strings. They have been prepared in mixed colours and 
in their manufacture a mixture of cotton, jute and silk 
yarn has been used. There is a scope for this industry 
to develop and many more users can be found for these 
articles. 

Fish Nets It is an important industry carried on 
mostly near sea-coasts or big rivers. Though generally 
the work is done by the fishermen themselves but still it 
gives employment to many people. In other countries, 
beautiful nets of different sizes are used by ladies to tie 
their hairs with. They are also used along with their 
hats. Nets with thinner spacing are also used as covers. 
Japan docs a brisk cx|x>it trade in this line. 

Hosiery It is an important article of trade. We 
shall discuss the subject under a separate heading. 

JFi/Ar Clotb It is another line which jis successfully 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 129 

carried on in Cawnpore and other places. It can easily 
develop if after a proper study of the type of weave, sizes 
and counts are standardised. Since quantity required 
is very small we hope full use of this line will be made by 
cottage workers. Cottage industry can only succeed if 
we strive to produce quality cloth to serve the purpose 
for which it is meant. 

Cotton Cleaning In Bombay there arc many people 
who purchase waste cotton from the mills and clean it. 
After cleaning it is sold and poor people employ it in 
stuffing their beds, etc. In other places cotton waste is 
either burnt or dumped as manure. By inventing a cheap 
contrivance we can utilise this waste material and can 
employ some people with advantage. Ordinarily there 
are waste cotton plants attached to mills where waste 
cotton is cleaned and spun for low counts. 

Tape Weaving It is an allied industry which has 
assumed a special importance in Ahmedabad for its 
supply to the mill-made cloth. This industry can easily 
develop at all those places where cotton mills are work- 
ing. Besides depending upon the mill industry it can 
stand upon its own merits and many new designs can be 
manufactured to suit the taste of the people. There seems 
to be a big scope for this industry. The equipment 
needed for the industry is quite inexpensive ana women 
in the family can easily follow it up in their leisure hours. 
Artistic designs may be made by mixing cotton thread 
with silk and metal threads. 

Niwar Weaving It is another allied industry of 
weaving. Practically in all cities manufacture of Niwar is 
very common. Coloured and plain Niwar is prepared and 
sold almost everywhere. Coarse yarn is mostly used for 
this article and this industry may, therefore, be a help in 
the production of hand-spun yarn. During the War this 
industry was given a good impetus and we hope it will 
pay if an enquiry be made as to the purpose this article 
can serve in the foreign market. There seems to 
be thus a possibility of establishing an export market. 



130 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

There has developed recently a new industry of 
preparing cotton cloth patties of 9" to i z" in width which 
serve as screens when stitched together. Many designs 
in these patties are produced to make them attractive. 

Swing Thread. It is a cottage industry and must be 
kept as such. Unless scientific methods are introduced 
and up-to-date appliances are made this industry will 
not survive. 

WOOL 

After cotton textile, wool occupies the next place. 
Woollen industry of Kashmir and other places has a 
marked place in Indian economy. The industry, however, 
has remained static while the world had gone a great deal 
forward and our products, though pure, are unable to 
compete with foreign products. Though Science has 
evolved many a new fibre natural wool has still its own 
place. There is a great scope for this industry and it 
can give employment to a very large number of people. 
We should remember that there are about two and a 
half crores of sheep in the country and the total quantity 
of wool produced is quite considerable. 

First we should concentrate upon wool production 
of the right type. As wool is a natural product breeding 
of sheep plays an important part. Fortunately we 
possess a breed which can subsist on very scanty 
pastures. It is a very hardy animal It is admitted that 
by proper feeding the quality of wool is improved. Un- 
fortunately, we do not know what feeds are suitable 
for this purpose. Besides very little work is done in 
producing better type of animal. Woollen mills, which 
ought to have taken, keen interest in the production 
of wool, are satisfied with imported wool and they seem 
to take little interest in wool production. Government 
seems to be indifferent and has done very little in this 
direction. The entire work is in the hands of illiterate 
and poor people who somehow pass their days by tak- 
ing their flocks from place to place for grazing. Their 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES IJI 

methods are crude and primitive and require a great 
deal of improvement. 

There are very cold places in India where only wool 
can protect the people from icy cold atmosphere though 
it is true that in a large part of the country ordinary 
cotton stuffed covers may replace woollen blankets but 
even in these places woollen blankets are the only shelter 
against rains. The necessity of wool improvement* 
therefore, cannot be minimised. The large imports in 
woollen goods to the tune of 12 lacs of pound a year is a 
clear indication of the possibility of the development 
of this commodity. 

Leaving the possibility of the improvement of the 
breed in the hands of the agriculturists let us begin from 
the stage wool is clipped from the animal. 

In spite of the small production of wool per animal 
we waste a lot of wool in clipping. If instead of clip- 
ping by hand-shears we employ an up-to-date clipping 
machine we can increase the supply of wool by at least 
10 percent., and can produce wool of a more uniform 
nature and quality. Clipping machines may be intro- 
duced on hire-purchase system or the clippers may be 
appointed to do the job. 

After the clip is made wool must be sorted. Wool 
all over the body is never of the same quality. Some 
parts give finer wool than others. Again some por- 
tions have longer wool than the rest. Simply by proper 
grading of wool at this stage, value and price of wool may 
be enhanced by about 25 per cent. It will not be a small 
gain over the total quantity of wool that we produce- 
each year. Training centres can be started for this pur- 
pose. This improvement will only pay if an arrangement 
of marketing of wool is properly made and the sale is 
not left in the hands of middlemen who are only in- 
terested in their commission. By this means not only a 
better price will be obtained but the coarser varieties; 
will be utilised for coarser cloth and finer ones for better 
doth. The grading may also be made as regards colour 



1 32 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

which may be an important factor for some localities. 
The younger the animal the finer the wool and this 
factor may be considered in gradation. 

Spinning Spinning of wool gives some employ- 
ment to the people but the method is both crude and 
expensive. Most of the Gadaryas (sheep owners) make 
their own yarn by twisting on wooden spool. This 
yarn is uneven and thick and is only usable for the 
production of rough blankets used by poor people. Yarn 
spun on Charkha is used to some extent for making 
tweeds and Pattoos. For making Lohis and Shawls 
yarn is generally imported from foreign countries. All 
power or handlooms generally employ mill-made yarn. 
In Amritsar alone as many as 850 power looms prepare 
articles made from imported yarn, which mostly used 
to come from Japan. We need not point out that 
Japan produces very little wool and mostly used Aus- 
tralian wool for the manufacture of yarn. If it pays 
Japan to import wool from Australia and then turn it 
into yarn ana export it to India why it should not pay us 
to make yarn in India from Australian wool. 

Cheap woollen articles made from shoddy mostly 
in Italy and Poland flood the Indian market and depress 
the Indian trade to the disadvantage of the cottage 
worker. Import duties can only help if we begin to 
employ scientific and up-to-date methods. We consider 
there is a need for number of factories in India for the 
preparation of yarn both from indigenous and imported 
wool. If the proper type of carding, cleaning, etc., 
is arranged and yarn is prepared in the country, we 
need not depend much on foreign imports, We can 
also employ shoddy just as they use in other countries 
and can mix with other fibres to produce as good and 
cheap articles as are being imported. 

Out main weakness in the production of woollen 
cloth is the production of yarn and we should not lose 
any more time in starting woollen spinning mills. 

were surprised to learn that even "in Kashmir 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES IJ5 

people import yarn from foreign countries and 
prepare goods from that yarn and pass them off as 
Kashmiri cloth. Is it not better to produce yarn our- 
selves and thus to save our hard-earned money in the 
bargain ? We do not see any other solution of the 
problem. It is true that wool spinning will improve 
by proper treatment and better carding. Still for finer 
yarn we shall have to employ spinning mills. 

Weaving The yarn is peg warped and sized with 
starch made of tamarind seed and occasionally with 
wild onions. At places it is dyed with alizarine dyes to 
produce different colours. 

Weaving is done on ordinary looms. Mostly blank- 
ets known as Cumblis are woven and sold as such. 
They are generally very rough. Before they are sold 
they are milled by the following processes. The Cum- 
blis are spread out on a country cot with roughly woven 
ropes and four men standing on either side in pairs rub 
the blankets, after they have been folded, backwards 
and forwards across the cot, hot water being poured 
on it all the time to keep it wet. This process relts the 
fibre and is repeated four or five times for each fold of the 
blanket with the result that the superfluous wool is rub- 
bed off and the blanket no longer shows holes in it. 
There is considerable shrinkage oy this process. 

Greatest help can be given to this industry by the 
introduction of carding, milling and fibre-raising 
machines. During the War such machines have been 
introduced with advantage and we think these improve* 
ments must continue. Government opened centres 
where blankets could be prepared for the Army. Main 
work was done in U.P., Punjab, N.-W.F.P., Patiala State 
and other provinces and States. In U.P. alone about 
two and half lakh of blankets were annually supplied. 
It is a pity that just after the War the Government 
experts could not continue the effort and were satisfied 
only by closing these centres. 

Pile Carpets Besides blankets pile carpets is another 



JJ4 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

old industry. It is said that these carpets were very 
much encouraged from the time of Akbar the Great. 
Unfortunately since i9th century the industry had a set 
back. Carpets, however, are still manufactured in 
Kistna, Moslipattam and Conjeevaram and other places. 
Mostly dead wool is used for the purpose. The dyeing 
of wool is generally done by the weavers themselves. 

Patios and Shawls In Kashmir Pattos, shawls, 
tweeds, lohis and blankets of very fine quality are made. 
The place is extremely suited for the development of 
the industry. The All-India Spinners' Association has 
organised all the weavers and spinners in the whole of 
the State and the workers have given a great encourage- 
ment to this industry. We are, however, sorry to say 
that sufficient attention is not paid towards the technical 
improvement of the industry. It is desirable that 
up-to-date scientific knowledge should be adopted and 
both chemical and mechanical improvements should 
be introduced so that most of the weavers may not have 
to depend upon the imported yarn for their living. We 
consider that by starting carding, spinning, fulling and 
milling mill of a modern type a great deal can be done 
to help the industry. 

Namda Manufacture is an important article of sale. 
The imported article is far too superior. Arrangement 
of making Namda of the right type be made. 

Felt. Woollen felt is required in large quantities 
in paper and straw-board mills and since the supply 
will remain limited the industry can succeed on a cottage 
scale. Attempt should be made to manufacture these 
articles. 

Since the time Italy began to manufacture artificial 
wool a number of fibres which look like wool and whose 
touch is better than wool have been evolved. These 
fibres are far cheaper than the natural produce. In 
future articles made of these artificial fibres will flow 
in our markets and it is time that we make arrangements 
to produce all artificial fibres in our Country. Oil 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 13 J 

cake is the main material for many of these fibres and 
we abound in oil cakes. Vegetable protein can also 
be prepared from many other wild and cultivated plants. 
If we start the industry we shall be able to utilise our raw 
material, give employment to many and will guard 
against the future ruination of our industry. 

SILK 

Silk is an old and important fibre. India is the only 
country where a large variety of worms are employed 
to produce fibre for weaving. Besides silk, Endi and 
Munga are other important silk fibres. World has done 
a lot of investigation in the rearing of the worm, but 
we have not taken advantage of the improvements. 
Perhaps the greatest attention has been devoted to this 
industry in the Mysore State. There a large population 
is engaged in the rearing of the worm. Next important 
place is Madras, then come Bengal and Kashmir. 
Though India was famous for its silk but yet it could 
not stand the competition from Japan and China. 
Gradually the production dwindled considerably. 
According to Tariff Board 1940, there were only 
105 weaving establishments in 1937 employing 4,700 
workers , but in these establishments mostly imported 
silk was employed. The total production of raw silk 
was only 6 lac pounds. It is generally consumed by 
handloom weavers . 

Mysore State realised that there can be no better 
subsidiary occupation for the agriculturists than the 
rearing of silk cocoons and prepare silk out of it. Kol- 
legal Taluka in Madras being near to Mysore State took 
it up and started the industry without any special help 
from the Government. Here is a clear instance of peo- 
ple adopting a new industry provided they are once con- 
vinced of the profitableness of the same. In 1928 in 
this Taluka there were 10,200 acres under mulberry cul- 
tivation, while the total area under cultivation was 
90,000 acres. . The employment of such a huge area for 



I } 6 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

this purpose clearly proves that an agriculturist 
is really dying for a subsidiary occupation and 
will adopt it if once he is satisfied of the utility of follow- 
ing such a course. This gives a lie to those who always 
preach the conservatism of the agriculturists. Silk- 
worm rearing thus has become a regular business of 
the cultivator in the above place. 

Below is another instance as to what can be achieved 
by the Government help. During the War parachute 
cloth was an essential War need and fortunately for that 
purpose only pure silk could be used. The whole 
government machinery was moved to find a solution. 
Raw silk available in Bengal, Kashmir, Madras and 
Mysore was neither sufficient nor silk could be properly 
twisted by crude Charkha. Attempts were at once made 
to remove these defects. Improved machines were 
imported and afterwards made in the country. 

It is only during the last War that right type of silk 
has begun to be produced. The Government started 
their attempt in 1941, and in 1942 there were 5,500 new 
basins installed to produce filature silk suitable for para- 
chute manufacture. In Kollegal alone 500 basins capable 
of proding 1,50,000 pounds of reeled silk annually were 
installed. In Bengal 1,500 basins we placed by the 
private people from loan advanced by the Government 
of India. In Mysore 1,800 basins were installed. In 
1943, 3 lac Ibs. or silk of the proper type was produced* 
In 1044 the quantity was doubled and it is estimated that 
not less than a million pound will be produced in 1945* 

The reeling machine was first imported from abroad^ 
but since there was the difficulty of transport, good 
machines for the purpose were made in India. Only the 
looms and reeds are imported but their parts are being 
attempted to be manufactured in the country. 

A Central Sericulture station has been set up at 
Bcharampur in Bengal with a sub-station at Kalimpony 
(Bengal) by Government of India. Experts are imported 
to establish the industry. It is considered % possible now 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES iyj 

that India may be able to compete with Japan and 
China silk. 

Need we say that Industry development is a pro- 
vincial subject and if the Red-Tapism would have been 
followed in this case, as is generally done, nothing would 
have been achieved. All constitutional objections were 
set aside and under the stress of emergency Government 
of India had to perforce develop an old dying industry. 

We hone the Government of India will foster up 
their newly born child with the same affection with which- 
it was conceived and brought forth. We hope the Gov- 
ernment of India will not allow it to die under consti- 
tutional objection since the War is over. This industry 
provides a subsidiary profession to agriculturist and 
must be encouraged. We hope experts will take 
immediate steps to tell the people where and how this 
industry can be established with advantage. 

As far as unemployment and economic conditions 
are concerned, India is in a state of emergency. Steps, 
far more effective than employed during the War, should 
be taken during the peace. All efforts to push new 
industries must continue with redoubled vigour. India 
is a vast country and there are suitable places in all the 
Provinces w! ere silk can be produced and worms can 
be reared with advantage. It is the duty both of the 
public and of the Government to discover such 
places and establish sericulture as a subsidiary occupa- 
tion to agriculture. If the technique is mastered and 
people are trained and the industry is protected by im- 
posing import duty as well as by standardising goods 
internally there is a great future for this industry. 

India perhaps is the only country where Tussar, 
Endi and Munga silk is produced. If a research is made 
in the constitution of these types of silk and the worm is 
improved, there may be a possibility of producing more 
animal filature in this country and provide a side occupa- 
tion. The worms of these varieties are harder in their 
habits and, feed on the leaves easily available* 



138 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

There is a great demand for these fibres. It may be 
possible that these silks may find some other important 
use in the modern complicated world. So far the 
development of these varieties has been entirely neg- 
lected. Endi silk has special merits for those places 
where castor plant is grown as a crop and leaves cost 
nothing. There is a further advantage in rearing this 
worm that in the extraction of fibre worm has not to 
be killed. Thus farmers who shun to take life may 
take to the rearing of this worm. If the multiplication 
of this type of silk is encouraged it may also help 
Khaddar production. It may be possible to mix 
it with cotton before spinning. We specially invite 
attention of the All-India Spinners* Association in this 
connection. 

From the description given above one will be 
convinced of the potentialities of this important industry. 
We need not be afraid of artificial silk in this matter. 
If Italy* France and Japan, manufacturing large quan- 
tities of artificial silk, have faith in the development of 
silk industry why should we not have the same faith 
specially when we arc assured of the market in our own 
country. Not only silk saris and other dothes are po- 
pular with us but from religious point of view silk arti- 
cles are considered to be sacred and most people must 
use them, specially on ceremonial occasions. This 
must keep a demand for pure silk for a sufficiently long 
time. However, it is necessary that the weak points of 
the industry may be tackled and removed. 

The first and the foremost necessity is the rearing of 
the suitable type of the silkworms. In other countries 
a great deal of work has been done to improve the breed 
and worms are evolved by which yield is more than 
doubled. These hybrids will have to be evolved for 
different climatic conditions and sufficient seed has to 
be supplied in localities suitable for them. Of course the 
smaller the number of varieties the better. The seed will 
have to be tested by microscope and othcf appliances* 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 139 

For both these objects the work must be done by trained 
hands. For this purpose we require the Government 
help. Over and above this entymologists have to be 
provided to take measures against disease and pests. 
Very useful work has been done on the cultivation of 
mulberry in Japan. Varieties are evolved which yield 
the largest quantities of leaves in a small space, since 
the worms live only on leaves, only such varieties should 
be propagated which produce more leaves. In our 
country there is already existing a pressure on land 
and we can ill afford to waste any area and must econo- 
mise in this respect. If it is found possible propaga- 
tion of mulberry plants in waste land should DC tried* 
Further investigation should be made to find out if other 
leaves can be used for feeding. 

Arrangement for extracting of silk may be made at 
a central institution wherein all the rearers may be part- 
ners and may be paid on the estimated silk in their 
cocoons so that an urge to produce better cocoons may 
be created. 

The present method of reeling must be replaced by 
better machines. Since this experiment has already been 
made no further expense need DC incurred on that score, 
but a frantic effort seems to be necessary to manufacture 
right type of efficient and durable machines. Local 
artisans may be trained in their manufacture so that they 
may be locally made and repaired. 

Dyeing is the next step. Fast colours of whatever 
origin with beautiful shade, with details of dyeing, should 
be arranged. In Benares the use of cheap colours is 
the main defect of silk cloth. People should be trained 
in dyeing fast colours and in order to save the industry 
the use of cheap colours be prohibited. 

In order to avoid competition import duty may be 
levied both on yarn and cloth of foreign origin and it 
may be made compulsory to give the quantity of actual 
silk in every piece manufactured or imported. 

In manufacture a considerable quantity of silk goes 



140 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

to waste. Special machines for utilising silk waste must 
be installed at suitable central centres where all this 
waste may be utilised and thus the cost of silk may be 
reduced. 

Weaving. The biggest centre for silk weaving in 
U.P. is Benares. Murshidabad in Bengal is another 
important place. Silk is also used both in weaving and 
borders in Madras. In U.P. silk weaving gives employ- 
ment to over i i lacs of weavers and their dependent. 
This province manufactures silk worth more than 9 
crores on handlooms. 

Silk is a costly material and gives a better wage 
to the weaver. Borders of silk in different types of 
cloth specially Dhoti and Saris is very common and 
silk saris are a speciality. Before the War we were 
importing silk from foreign countries to the extent 
of 2 crores of Rupees annually. Over and above 
this we were using all our production. It gives a fair 
idea of our silk consumption and proves the impor- 
tance of this industry. 

In Benares there are 70,000 weavers and their 
dependants who live by this industry. The weavers 
have evolved an ingenious method of preparing new 
designs and if they are encouraged they may be able 
to hold their own against jackered looms. 

Gold and silver threads arc woven in silk and very 
expensive cloth is thus produced. It is a fine art which 
has existed for centuries past and should not be allowed 
to die. 

Mixture of silk with other fibres is quite common 
in foreign countries. If practised in this country, as 
the method had already started, it may ruin the trade 
altogether. It seems to be necessary, therefore, that 
all articles of silk, foreign or Indian, must be compelled 
to print the quantity of pure silk in them and false 
declaration must be punishable. 

Manufacture of parachute doth should continue 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 

and if any other use of silk has been discovered that 
discovery must be utilised. 

In industries like Hour, sieving is done in silk 
screens. This bolting silk comes from abroad and is 
sold at very high rates. There is no reason as to why 
these screens may not be made in India. The quantity 
of such silk will always be small and there will never 
be any likelihood of' its manufacture by the mills. 
Arrangement for manufacturing bolting silk and pre- 
paring screens therefrom be investigated and started. 

More attention should be given to other types of 
silks which worms in India produce and their behaviour 
should be investigated. It is possible these silks may be 
exported or may be utilised to advantage with cotton 
or other fibres. 

Other I'ibres Amongst other fibres used in weav- 
ing, artificial silk is the most important. It is a pity 
that for the supply of this fibre we depend entirely 
upon foreign countries. In Japan very small factories 
exist for its manufacture and there is no reason why 
we cannot do the same here. In Japan in 193} facto- 
ries not employing more than 9 men were producing 
15% of the total production of artificial silk and fac- 
tories in which not more than 30 labourers were em- 
ployed were producing 46% of the total production. 
Even if huge amount is needed for starting an artificial 
silk factory there is no dearth of money in the country 
and if any one industrialist does not want to take the 
risk all the textile mills contribute a small amount each 
and start a joint concern. One such successful factory 
will open the field. 

During the War many miraculous fibres have come 
to stay. What will be the effect of these fibres on 
natural fibres and what will be the future setting of 
the World nobody can say. Artificial wool from 
milk was considered a great step when Italy announced 
its production a possibility during the Abyssinian 
Wat. But since then a great variety of fibres have been 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

placed on the market and are daily being produced. 

India is very rich in raw material and there is no 
reason why we should not keep alert and utilise these 
chemical discoveries for our advantage instead of 
importing these fibres. Our chemists should make a 
special study of these fibres and the Imperial Research 
Bureau must equip itself for such a research. We 
should no more depend on the Cotton Committee for 
these researches but number of chemists should be em- 
ployed on this job. Who knows India may contri- 
bute its own quota and may discover a still new fibre 
in which the whole world may become interested. 

As long as this is not done India may be import- 
ing these fibres for one reason or another. Of course, 
as far as the weaver is concerned, he cannot be expected 
to make these fibres. It will be to his advantage to 
make use of new fibres. From national point too it 
will be advantageous to import yarn in place of cloth. 

Import duty on yarn always hits the weaver and 
benefits the mills. Weaver will always like to get these 
fibres at the cheapest rate while the factory owners may 
require protection against them. That being so, we sug- 
gest that in any such eventuality it should be considered 
imperative that the interest of the weaver should not be 
sacrificed for the protection of big factories. The time 
has come when our method of levying protection duty 
should be revised. We may introduce a system of 
rebate for the articles utilised as raw material in the 
manufacture of finished goods. The subject is im- 
portant both in case of fibres and many other articles 
in the manufacture of which foreign material is used 
as raw material. To give another instance, for the 
making of wire nails, iron wire is needed but the latter 
may have to be protected to encourage wire industry. 
If a rebate is not granted nail manufacturer will have 
to suffer. Similar may be the case of manufacture of 
bolts and nuts* Copper and brass sheets imported for 
utensils against sheet industry may be another instance 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 14) 

and so on. We, therefore, urge that the system of 
rebate be introduced along with protection to avoid 
such difficulties. 

Besides imported fibres there are indigenous 
fibres which find place in textile industry. The most 
important of these is jute. For making many jute 
products in cottages jute yarn is used. In all such 
cases the cottage worker should be provided with yarn 
from factories at reasonable rates so that he may be 
able to get a living. 

Fibres used for industries other than textile will 
be discussed under separate heading. 

Knittififj Though knitting is an important branch 
of textile we have discussed it under another heading 
due to its importance. Here we shall discuss all the 
fibres used in knitting in one place. 

Knitting from very old times is done by hand and 
girls are taught this important art practically every- 
where. In leisure hours it is a suitable occupation for 
women. Beautiful designs in knitting and forms are 
every day devised and adopted. In spite of the in- 
dustry being common it takes such a tremendous time 
that only knitting of wool is now done by hand and 
for cotton goods machines are utilised. Small machines 
worked by hand are designed and are in general use. 
If these machines are made available by hire and pur- 
chase system the industry will become more popular 
and ladies even in high class families will not consider 
it to be derogatory to employ their spare time in taking 
to this industry. This industry is just as good as 
Charkha itself. In knitting many articles such as 
socks, banyan, jersey, pullover, stockings, vest, caps, 
etc., are included but the largest number consists of 
hosiery alone. 

Before the War the annual imports of hosiery goods 
in India was valued at more than a crore of rupees. 
Japan was the biggest supplier. Some people wonder 
as to how Japan could send out hosiery goods at such 



144 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

a ridiculous price. We have seen their automatic 
knitters which with power can manufacture thousand 
of socks a day. The arrangement in these machines 
is so automatic that the manipulation of needles for 
making the toe and the heels and the upper portion 
need not be attended to if the machine is once correctly 
adjusted. This brings down the cost of labour very 
low. For very cheap socks old yarn is generally usea. 

Need we point out that the upper portion of the 
sock remains in tact even when the sock is worn out. 
This yarn can either be removed and used or attached 
to the new sock. As a matter of fact, few firms in 
Japan specialise in supplying the lower portion of 
the sock to which you can easily attach your upper 
portion yourself. A sewing machine, specially suited 
for this job is also available. Other yarn which has been 
used once can again be utilised provided it can be 
-easily rewound. Thus the cost is brought down to the 
minimum. If we adopt the same methods we can also 
produce cheap goods. We wish some people may 
utilise this tnck in trade. In Meerut old woollen 
yarn is dyed and used in making socks and people have 
a brisk trade though they make these socks only by 
hand. Ordinary mistris of small means in Ludhiana 
(Punjab) have successfully produced knitting machines 
but" they have not been able to manufacture needles. 
This weakness was discovered during the War. It 
is absolutely necessary that needles may somewhere be 
made in India to remove this shortcoming. Both 
woollen or cotton goods can be knitted on these 
machines. The thickness of the yarn will decide the type 
of machine used. 

Miscellaneous articles such as buttons, bags, 
flowers, etc., are also made from yarn. Cotton-yarn- 
buttons, perhaps, are the cheapest articles in the market. 
Their production gives food to many infirm and weak 
ladies 10 the United Provinces. These buttons are not 
only very cheap but they can be washed without damage 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES *4J 

along cloth. If they are more extensively used we can 
decrease the import in buttons very considerably and 
patronise a useful industry. 

Stuffed toys is another line in the same direction. 
We wish more aesthetic articles are produced and they 
become more popular. 

During the War Government required knitted 
goods in the shape of jersey, vests, drawers, pullovers, 
etc., and were forced to import yarn from Australia 
and United Kingdom. Now the industry seems to 
have developed a great deal and we wish this gain should 
not be lost. As a cottage industry it has a great future. 

India is a tropical country and woollen knitting 
can only be a seasonal work. But there is a large con- 
sumption of cotton goods. Silk is also used by rich 
people. Whether cotton isrecjuired for knitting or wool 
in every case mill yarn will have to be employed. 
Though attempts to manufacture knitted goods from 
hand-spun yarn have been made but no success is so far 
achieved. There seems to be no likelihood that people 
will take to this type of knitted goods which will always 
remain weak, clumsy and expensive. For cottage 
worker the cost of mill yarn will remain a great prob- 
lem. Japan was the biggest supplier of yarn before 
the War. How things will stand in future nobody 
can predict. If we want to make this industry popu- 
lar we shall have to make some arrangement for the 
supply of cheap yarn. 

LEATHER 

India possesses one-third of the total cattle popu- 
lation of the world. She contains 150 million cattle 
besides 48 millions sheep and goats. She is the largest 
supplier of hides and skins of the world- From the 
Review of the Trade, the enormous quantity of hides 
and skins exported will be quite apparent. In the yeat 
1937-38 the total quantity of hides and skins exported 
to different cpuntries amounted to 41,300 tons of raw 

10 



146 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

hides and skins and 23,700 tons of tanned hides. The 
value of raw hides and skins was Rs. 494 lacs, 
while that of tanned hides amounted to Rs. 645 
lacs, bringing the total to Rs. 1139 lacs (more than 
Rs. it crores). In the year 1938-39 the amount ex- 
ported decreased to 8 crores 57 lacs. The following 
is the analysis of raw and tanned hides and skins in 
1937-38 : 

Quantify in Values in 
* To*, lacs of Rs. 

RAW HIDES & SKINS : 

Raw Cow Hides .. .. .. 16,800 123 

Buffalo Hides 4 > 4o 3 

Other hides . . . . . . . . 400 4 

Goat Skins .. .. .. .. 18,600 307 

Sheep Skins . . . . . . . . 800 14 

Other Skins . . . . . . . . 300 16 



TOTAL . . 41,300 494 

TANKBD HIDES: 

Cow hides 1 3,800 254 

Buffalo hides . . . . . . *. 1,300 21 

Other hides 1,900 45 

Goatskins .. . . . . .. 3,400 165 

Sheep skins 3>3oo 160 

Other skins . . . . . . . . 



TOTAL ,. 15,700 645 

The above figures clearly bring about two points* 
Firstly, that out of the total export of hides and skins 
44% are sent as raw hides and only 56% are sent as tanned 
hides and skins. Secondly, that most of die hides and 
skins consist of cow hides and goat skins. 

From the bulk calculations it will be quite dear 
that the price of raw cow hide per ton is, on an average 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 147 

Rs. 700 per ton while that of the tanned hides i$ 
Rs. 1800 per ton. Similarly the price of goat skins raw 
is Rs. 1,650 per ton while that of the tanned goat skins* 
comes to Rs. 4,790 per ton. The difference is enor- 
mous and clearly points out that if we would have 
exported all hides and skins after tanning the value 
that we would have received from foreign countries 
would have been more than double. It is not only 
that we lose thereby national wealth and sell our 
raw hides for a song but it also proves that if we would 
have tanned all these hides in our country we would 
have given employment to thousands of people. This 
clearly justifies that a proper organisation and develop- 
ment of leather tanning will give both employment 
and money to the poorest of the poor in villages* 
Perhaps, we cannot find a better industry than leather 
tanning which can be developed as a side occupation* 
in villages along with agriculture. It clearly brings 
out a case for providing suitable employment to the 
landless labourer in villages and at the same time 
increasing the national wealth of the country. If we 
add to it number of articles manufactured from leather^ 
which can easily find market in the country, the amount 
of money spent on the development of this industry* 
will be clearly justified. We wish that the Government 
as well as the leaders of the public opinion should con- 
centrate upon this industry if they want to divert a 
large population from land to industry. 

It we further go into figures of tanned leather 
we are at once driven to the conclusion that even in' 
tanning we are not getting the full price of our goods. 
The total amount of tanned leather in India amounts 
to 20. 8 millions hides out of which the number of 
village-tanned leather hides and skins amount to 9.1 
million, i.e., 43.8%, 8.6 millions are kip-tanned, i.e., 
41 . 3%, The number of hides and skins tanned on the 
modern method amounts only to 3.1 millions, i.e., 
*4*9% Th*se figures reveal that out of the total 



148 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

number of hides and skins tanned in the country, 
14.9% are only tanned by the rational, scientific up-to- 
date method while 8 j . i% are tanned in a crude and pre- 
mitive method. If we change our method from crude 
to the modern scientific method we can make still more 
money either by exporting or by using leather in our own 
country. This state of affairs points out that we should 
not only concentrate on tanning of hides and skins 
produced in the country, but points out the need of 
the introduction of up-to-date method of tanning in 
every group of villages where old method is followed. 
There has been no attempt made so far to change the 
old method by up-to-date modern scientific methods. 
By this we do not mean that this work should be taken 
away from the village people and be handed over to 
the capitalist and big factories be installed. On the 
other, we want that the method should be brought 
within the means of the village tanner by reducing the 
equipment to the lowest possible limit. This seems to 
be possible as All-India Spinners* Association has already 
devised means of doing so, to which we shall refer 
later. 

It may be argued that if we care to tan all our 
leather and try to export this commodity out of the 
country, it may not have very good sale and other 
countries, which have been using our raw hides, may 
not purchase our tanned leather. This apprehension 
seems to be ill-founded at least for a number of years 
to come. On account of the present War the quantity 
of leather has become far less in the world than we can 
expect and there will, therefore, be a continuous demand 
for this article from foreign countries. We know for 
certain that the number of cattle cannot easily be in- 
creased within a short period. Even if the other 
countries do not purchase our tanned leather, there 
will be no difficulty in utilising this commodity in the 
count*? itself. 

After textile this is the largest industiy existing in 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 149 

the country and since it is capable of development on 
cottage scale we emphasise its importance and hope 
that both the Government and the people will take 
sufficient interest in its development. 

To understand difficulties of this industry it may 
not be out of place to say a few words about its details. 
Let us first deal with the preparation of leather before 
we deal with the thousands of articles made from it. 

It may not be out of place to mention that on account 
of our carelessness we get the lowest price for our 
hides and skins. First and foremost attention should, 
therefore, be given to the improvement of raw material. 
India is mostly a vegetarian country and most of 
the hides are received from cattle which die a natural 
death. According to the old practice prevailing in 
every village the carcase of the dead cattle becomes the 
property of the Chamar of the village. There came a 
time when the Chamars became greedy and began to 
poison cattle in order to get hide. Though this 
evil is met with everywhere, it was more common in 
Madras. Owners of cattle, in order to save the loss 
of their cattle, took to brand their cattle to the extent 
that the hide when removed may fetch very low price. 
The evil though now has diappeared yet the branding 
has remained with the result that the value of the hide 
is very much affected. 

At present, however, another evil has recently 
started in number of villages of Punjab and United 
Provinces that the Chamars do not remove the carcase 
nor they remove the hide and in number of places cattle 
are now buried instead of otherwise disposed off* 
Thus very valuable material is lost to the country. 
In some places scavengers have taken the work of car- 
case removal and they either remove the hides or sell 
it for a song to others to be removed. This is very 
unfortunate that on account of false sentiment valuable 
expert and hereditary knowledge is lost to 'the commu- 
nity. We think it to be necessary that propaganda be 



150 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

made against this practice so that this national wealth 
of the country may not be affected. Whenever such 
an evil exists it must be removed and arrangement for 
the production of sound good hides be made so that 
full value may be realised by the country. 

Hides and skins are a perishable commodity and 
putrefaction starts if they are not properly preserved. 
The cheapest method is to salt them and dry them 
for future use. In some places cheap Khari Namak 
{Sodium sulphate) of local production is used for this 
purpose. Salt in India is an excisable commodity 
and is very expensive though it can be made at about 5 
annas a maund. Government has made certain rules 
under which salt free of duty is made available for in- 
dustrial purposes. But the benefit of such an exemp- 
tion cannot be availed of by illiterate and small people 
producing only a few hides in a month, nor can they 
l>e expected to follow the excise rules and to stand 
the red-tape of the Department. Even salt without 
duty is expensive as it has to pay freight charges and 
^Government expenses and after paying which its price 
comes to about 12 annas a maund. It is, therefore, 
desirable that excise duty on salt may be entirely removed 
as soon as possible* It is a duty that falls on the 
poorest man of the country. Its removal has been 
advocated at so many times by the leaders of public 
opinion. The result of all this is that many hides are not 
only kept unsalted but are exported in that very condi- 
tion. This results in the deterioration of the commodity 
to a very great extent. If we want to save this valu- 
able commodity something must be done and done at 
once. 

Dry or fresh skins and hides are brought to trade 
and they are either tanned or exported raw to foreign 
countries. For making use of them in the country 
4hey ate in every case tanned batting a small quantity 
used lot making topes etc. 

Before the advent of big tanneries tanning process 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 1 5 I 

was done in group of villages by a few cottage tanners, 
who either were selling it as tanned leather or used to 
turn into water buckets, shoes, bags, etc. The process 
of tanning has considerably improved by scientific 
knowledge but the methods of tanning in villages have 
remained the same. Chrome tanning is a new intro- 
duction. We are glad to say that All-India Spinners* 
Association has so modified the system as to suit the 
cottage worker. Now almost all types of tanning can 
be done on a small scale. Tanning is a very important 
cottage industry and when properly organised can 
provide work for a large population. 

We give a short description of tanning below. 
It is not our purpose to give its technical details but a 
short description may be desirable to understand the 
points of difficulty. Tanned leather for local use and 
for sale is prepared by the following methods: 

(1) Dhori hides 

(2) Chrome leather 

(i) For gin rollers 

(ii) For sole leather 

(iii) For upper leather 

(iv) Others 

(3) Bark sole leather 

(4) Fancy leathers and 

(5) Miscellaneous leather 

(1) This process is very common throughout the 
country. It is the cheapest and most inexpensive. 
Hides, generally of buffalo, arc turned end wise and 
made into a bag, keeping the upper part open. These 
bags so made are filled with tan material which con- 
sists of local barks or myrobalan or a mixture and the 
liquor is allowed to trickle out of the hide and thus 
tanning the leather. 

(2) Chrome leather is a new scientific method 
wherein molasses and sodium bichromate is used 



1 5 2 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

with other chemicals. This method gives very good 
results and take a much shorter time in tanning. 
The difficulty is that one has to handle chemicals about 
the purity ot which one must have a good knowledge. 
It also requires a few apparatus which arc suggested 
by All-India Spinners* Association. In big tanneries, 
however, this method requires elaborate machinery. 
Chrome leather is required for number of articles 
and the tanning varies with all of them to a little extent. 
It seems to be desirable that this method be extensively 
followed everywhere and the apparatus required for 
this purpose DC made available. Training centres be 
started in all important places. Importance of the 
introduction of this method will be apparent from the 
following words of a small pamphlet issued on the 
subject by the Khadi Pratishthan: 

"Unless high class chrome tanned leather is finished 
in cottages the village chamars, whose only pro- 
fession is handling ot hide, will continue to remain 
poor, neglected and largely dependent upon ex- 
porters of hides or leathers (Chrome leather) for their 
living. With the introduction of chronic tanning 
in cottages this is bound to change, leading to the 
economic improvement of the condition of those 
who are at present extremely poor and ignorant. . . ." 

We entirely agree with the sentiment expressed 
in the above words and wish that the whole industry 
be organised on the above lines. According to this 
pamphlet only ij days are required to tan leather. 
Though it has not described the methods of preparing 
leather for different uses but we do not think there 
will be any difficulty on this score if once the technique 
of the process is mastered. We strongly recommend 
its introduction and we are sure that its technique 
will improve by its coming in general use. 

(4) Several types of skins are made into fancy 
leather but the demand is erratic and not Tegular. 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES I J 5 

(5) Under the head miscellaneous comes leather 
of belting, rollers, laces, etc. There is only a local 
demand for such leather and generally it is made to 
order. 

Before hide is tanned there are a number of pro- 
cesses required which can be divided into soaking, 
liming, dehairing, deliming, pickling, etc. For all 
these processes a different technique and skill is required. 

The most important things, however, are (a) the 
supply of water for washing, etc., (b) raw material such 
as bark, chemicals, etc., (c) sufficient space, (d) disposal 
of water, (e) and the utilisation of waste material. 

Let us discuss these in a little detail: 

(a^ Tanning is an offensive trade and must be 
carried out at a place remote from habitation and at a 
place which is not frequented by the people. To arrange 
for good water at such a place is absolutely necessary. 
Though tanneries are generally located on the bank 
of rivers for the cheap supply of water but such places 
cannot be made available in all villages. The only 
supply possible is well water for which an arrangement 
for lifting may be necessary. If properly constructed 
tanks are made and water is economically utilised, the 
quantity of water can be considerably reduced. 

(b) Coming to the question of bark and raw mate- 
rial it is a pity that the poor man is left to his own re* 
sources ana practically nothing is done to help him. 
There are number of types of Darks available in differ- 
ent localities, specially from forests. The collection 
of barks is not organised. Mostly this work is done 
by contractors who take contracts for different types 
of minor products and hence do not give sufficient 
attention towards the purity of the material If we 
want to improve the industry the collection of barks 
should be taken up by the Government itself and pure 
and guaranteed article be supplied to the tanners. If 
barks are available round about the locality the tanner 



I J4 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

has either to collect the bark himself or has to depend 
upon local trade. In the first case his labour becomes 
too expensive and this work can only be done in the 
slack season. But if he purchases from trade he gets 
adulterated article. There are number of types of 
barks in different parts of the country which produce 
nice tanned leather. Out of these Anaram bark 
(Casia Auriculate) in Madras and Babul in U.P. and 
Punjab are important. The former gives the best 
tanned leather and the exporters allow a special premium 
but there seems to be no arrangement for its regular 
supply. The other main difficulty with this bark is 
that it cannot be easily separated from the plant, it 
being very thin. Attempts to design a machine for 
its extraction have so far failed. Extraction by hand 
is very tedious and expensive. 

We are of opinion that the plant should be culti- 
vated specially when its value as a green manure is 
established and we are sure that by proper cultivation 
the yield will be regular and its extraction will be easier 
and less expensive. The plant is found practically 
all over India except N.-W.F.P., Punjab and U.P., 
i.e. , places where plant is affected by frost. It is possible 
to develop some strains which may stand frost or plant 
may be cut before the frost. By cultivation and pro- 
per manuring the twigs may become thicker and the 
Quantity of bark may be increased. The main hin- 
drance in improving these plants is that there is no 
department responsible for their development and the 
article is required by small man. In all countries of the 
world all plants are developed by the agricultural 
department and it is also the duty of this department to 
investigate the possibilities of new use to industries. 
We wish that similar duties be assigned in India so that 
the .plant kingdom may be well exploited. To divide 
the responsibility between industries and agricultural 
departments leads us nowhere. On account of these 
lues bark is only used for skins* which fetch 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES I J 5 

high prices and can stand the cost of this valuable mate- 
rial. 

The Government seems to have taken the least 
line of resistance and they have tried to popularise wat- 
tle bark from Africa. The public ought to protest 
against the discarding of the use of a better material 
available in the country and not to develop the exist- 
ing material on the lines suggested above. 

No arrangements seem to have been made to 
standardise and to arrange for the sale of bark and 
niyrobalans. For want of this arrangement the in- 
dustry has suffered a great deal. 

Coming to the supply of chemicals the first neces- 
sity is the supply of good lime. Small man has to de- 
pend upon what is available in the market barring those 
places where shells are available cheap or can be collect- 
ed free. They are burnt by the tanner himself. In 
the use of lime atmosphere becomes foul and sometimes 
leather also suffers. But if a small percentage of sodium 
sulphite is used the work progresses very smoothly. 
Sodium sulphite deteriorates by keeping and to get it of 
good strength is not easy. Til oil is another article which 
is also not available pure and the same is the case with 
Pungam oil. Both oils are more generally employed. 
People generally mix mineral oils and sell adulterated 
articles. Laws against adulteration are very defective. 
Government must check adulteration with strong 
hand and should not allow industries to die on this score. 
It has been found that there is a considerable difference 
in the quality of myrobalan available in the market* 
For a small man it is not possible to purchase sufficient 
quantities of tanning material at a time. His only method 
of testing is the use of the material. It will be pro- 
fitable, therefore, that an arrangement for gradation 
and standardization of supply be made available. 

For colours and chemicals the ignorant and illi- 
terate man must depend upon the unscrupulous shop- 
keeper who would like to pass an adulterated article 



156 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

as genuine without knowing its effect on trade. If 
the use of chrome leather be introduced in villages, 
which we think should be our ideal, the difficulty of 
getting pure stuff will be much more and steps should 
be taken for supply of pure articles. 

(c) Village chamars have to depend upon zamindars 
to have a suitable place for their tanning. In number of 
localities , their own houses are being used for the purpose 
with the result that not only they suffer from the foul 
air but they also make the other neighbours suffer 
from the same. For a small man in the villages it is 
not easy to apply for acquisition of land and even if it 
is done the tanner will have to pay the heavy penalty 
for such an insult to his landlord. It seems to be de- 
sirable that some arrangement for the acquisition of a 
suitable place be made. Some official should be given 
the power of acquisition so that without any offence 
tanneries may be located at suitable places. If the 
Government provide designs, in expensive plans for 
this purpose, it will be extra help to the tanners. Such 
places should be provided with suitable water and also 
arrangement for disposal of water. 

(d) Disposal of Water Waste water is of three 
types. One consisting of washings only. This water 
contains salt and is generally injurious to the cultivation 
and should not be allowed to run in cultivated fields. 
If round about the tannery, plants like coconut, plan- 
tain, etc., which like saltwater be grown, injury to 
land may be avoided. Fortunately, wash water is 
not in much quantity. Second type of water is ob- 
tained from the tanning material. This water is 
generally useful for vegetation and if properly regulated 
and not allowed to flow only one side for a lon 
period it can be utilised with advantage for crops. 
The third type of water comes from chrome tanning* 
Chrome salts are very injurious to vegetation and such 
liquors should not be allowed to flow on land suitable 
foi cultivation. The best thing is to precipitate these 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES t J 7 

salts with sodium carbonate. In big factories the 
sludge so precipitated may further be utilised to prepare 
chromium salts. At any rate if this sludge has to be 
disposed of it should never be mixed with manure nor 
allowed to spread on cultivated fields. 

(e) Waste material will consist of (i) exhausted 
barks, (ii) fleshings-cuttings of hides and skins, (iii) 
lime sludge, (iv) hairs and wool. Exhausted barks may 
be used either as manure or as fuel. Fleshings and 
cuttings can be used for making glue or may be sold 
as glue stock. They are a valuable manure also. 
Lime may be used as field dressing with advantage where 
soil is deficient in lime. Ordinary hairs from skins 
and hides may also be utilised as manure if they cannot 
be sold for a good price. Hairs decompose slowly 
but they contain large quantity of nitrogen and thus are 
valuable manure. In the case of sheep or goat skins 
wool if properly separated may fetch a good price. 
If properly arranged, tanners may make some money 
out of their waste. 

If the tanners arc given the necessary encourage- 
ment, organisation and technical advice, this industry, 
which once was very lucrative and prosperous, may be 
made so again. It can give employment to the largest 
number ot people in villages. 

There are special leathers which require special 
treatment. All such special leathers are imported 
from foreign countries. Though the prices or such 
leather are very high but very little attempt has been 
made to meet the requirements of the country. It 
is but necessary that establishments to make these types of 
leather be made in the country. 

LEATHER GOODS 

Leather is utilised for the manufacture of number 
of articles. In villages it is used for water buckets, 
shoes and strings. Footwear is the biggest branch 
for which leather is used. Besides boots and shoes, and 



1 5 8 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

village shoes, chappals ate made from cow hides and 
have a great demand. Barring a few factories on a 
big scale in India all these articles are made locally in 
cottages. Even in places like Agra and Cawnpore all 
the snoes are made in ordinary shops comparing very 
well with the factory -made articles, provided the small 
worker is supplied the right type of leather, both 
for sole as well as for the upper portion of boots and 
shoes* 

During the War the worker has very well learnt 
the method of division of labour and they have success- 
fully utilised this method in the production of many 
leatner articles. 

There are a number of small machines which can 
be usefully employed by small man. They produce 
better finish and reduce the cost of labour. They can- 
not be said to be strictly speaking labour-saving machines 
but certainly they are of very great use. Some of these 
useful macnines are securely locked in Government 
Leather Schools not to go abroad amongst those who 
badly need them. 

In a number of places cuttings from boots and 
shoes are utilised for making laminated leather boards. 
The process is rather crude and simple. It consists 
only of pasting cuttings with pulse flours, and pressing 
the small laminated board under ordinary screw 
press. 

Besides the above articles holdalls, straps, belts, 
buttons, etc., are made from leather. Very good suit- 
cases, money-bags and the like are also made from 
leather and they are quite decent and compare well 
in prices with the imported articles. There are thou- 
sands and one things which can be manufactured 
from leather, provided a proper guidance is given and 
people {jet the necessary training both in designs as 
well as in the details of manufacture. 

Harness saddlery are also made in number of places 
in cottage industries. Before the factories were orga- 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 159 

nised even the leather articles utilised by police and army 
were made on a small scale. 

Since the time different factories are started, machi- 
nery parts require leather for different purposes. Rol- 
ler, pickers, washers are some of the articles now manu- 
factured in number of places, which are centres of 
factory industry such as Ahmedabad and Cawnpore. 
In one place alone pickers worth 34 lakhs arc manu- 
factured in a year. Washers are made in Nadiad alone 
to the extent of ij lakhs. It is due to the local arti- 
san's enterprise that these jobs have been found out 
and a good trade is being done in them. The artisans 
require leather of foreign make for this purpose and 
when they do not get tne right type of leather they are 
forced to utilise the Indian-made leather which is not as 
good as the imported one. It is necessary that proper 
steps be taken to prepare proper type of leather for these 
industries and supplied at a moderate rate. If that 
is done, we are perfectly sure, most of articles, which 
are now imported, will soon be made in the country. 

Leather belting is used sufficiently in large quanti- 
ties in the country. We are sorry to say that largest 
quantity of belting is generally impbrtcd. There are 
a few factories started in India but they cannot meet 
the demand. Attempts should be made to manufacture 
belting from ordinary leather in small places. This 
work can easily be done provided arrangement for 
pressing and supply of rignt type of leather is made. 
There is a great scope for this industry being developed 
in cottages. When in Japan most of the feather belt- 
ing as well as rubber belting is produced in small 
works, there is no reason why it cannot be so done in 
India. The list of articles made from leather is 
essentially a large one and if proper analysis of the 
imported articles be made ana their manufacture is 
properly organised, we are perfectly sure that there 
will be found a great scope in the leather trade and 
most of the people will get their living by the manu- 



l6o COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

facture of these articles. We require leather schools 
in every big locality and teachers should go out for 
giving short training to the artisans in the manufacture 
of new articles. We hope and trust that steps will 
be taken to organise this important industry. During 
the War the cottage worker has been utilised for the 
manufacture of number of articles and this they have 
done to the satisfaction of the authorities whenever 
and wherever steps were taken to supervise the manu- 
facture from start to finish. If once vigorous attempt 
is made there is absolutely no reason why the artisan 
will not strive to produce the best articles now imported. 

Allied Industries to leather. 

Gut manufacture It is a very important industry. 
Siaikot manufacturers have proved that Indians can 
produce best gut for tennis rackets and other purposes. 
The only necessity is the proper organisation for 
sale. It is a cottage industry which has a big scope 
of development, London market has responded 
well and mere is a demand for it. Ahmcdabad also 
prepares gut but the industry is not very important. 
There are other places where gut is manufactured but 
looking to the vast material available this industry for 
the most part is neglected. 

Glm manufacture It is a very important industry 
and can be practised in cottages. There are some 
makers of glue in big cities but the article prepared 
is full of impurities and the method is extremely 
crude. Fleshings and cuttings are generally exported 
and a very little quantity is utilised. In India large 
quantities of glue are usecl in plywood and other trades 
tor pasting. It is also used for casting printers' rollers 
and now large quantities are used in making jelly, 
and jujubes of confectionery. It is also eaten in number 
of other forms and is considered a valuable food on 
account of its nitrogenous contents. As fair as we 
we aware good edible glue or gelatin; is nowhere 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES l6l 

made in India. All good glue is imported. In out 
process of preparation high temperature destroys its 
strength ana many impurities find place in its manu- 
facture. A great deal can be done by improving the 
technique. If vacuum concentration is introduced, 
which need not be costly, very good glue can easily 
be prepared throughout the year. We were simply 
surprised to learn that quite an ingenious method 
of drying glue by spraying by Pichkaries (pumps) on 
a hot plate has been devised by the glue makers 
themselves. 

There is a great scope for the clarification of glue. 
It is desirable that the Directors of Industries should 
take special interest in this valuable material. It does 
not require a large investment. It is rather a pity that 
with a paraphernalia of so many experts this important 
industry is almost neglected. Any good chemist put 
on the job would have improved the process a great 
deal. 

It is not only the fleshings and the cuttings from 
which glue can be prepared, bone glue offers a good 
scope. In other countries bone glue is prepared in 
large quantities and there is no reason why this raw 
material should not be utilised. 

Bone crushing It is another good industry which can 
be developed easily on a small scale if the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture takes as much interest in this use- 
ful fertiliser as they do in other manures. It is dis- 
graceful for this country to export bones and import 
fertilisers. 

Horn meal Horns contain about iz% nitrogen 
and is a very good organic manure. Wherever horns 
are used for making combs the shavings have been 
tried as manure and they have given very good results. 
If machinery for filing horns be imported this valuable 
manure can be prepared in all groups of villages* 

Horn articks Beautiful combs, caskets, knives, 
stocks, etc., are made from horns. These articles take 



l6z COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

good polish and fetch good prices. In different exhi- 
bitions organised by the Congress very delicate designs 
showing the workmanship and skill of the artisans 
have been exhibited. If the industry is well organised 
we can give employment to many people in villages. 
Horn articles arc mostly made from buffalo horns and 
they are mostly exported from U.P. and Punjab for this 
purpose. It is a pity that no industry exists in these 
provinces. There arc only a few centres where horns 
are utilised for making combs. 

Horn and horn meal can be utilised in making 
useful articles by chemical methods. No attempt 
seems to have been made in this country to collect 
this information and utilising it for the use of the in- 
dustry. 

Ferrotyanide of potassium The manufacture of this 
article from horns, blood or other animal products 
containing nitrogen is very easy and can find a ready 
sale. No attempt is made to manufacture the same. 
It is true that this is a wasteful method than the synthe- 
tic process adopted in other countries but in a country 
where such articles are wasted, this industry can give 
employment to some people 

Bone char Bone char or bone black or ivory black 
i$ a well-known pigment. It is a good bleaching agent 
also. Its preparation is not at all difficult and it can 
easily be prepared by cither burning bones in a limited 
supply ot air or by dry distillation. 

METAL INDUSTRY 
Iron 

Use of iron was known to Indians from times im- 
memorial. In hills old furnaces for smelting iron are 
found which were worked with charcoal. They stop* 
ped working for want of fuel. Indian Woltz was a 
special type of steel, which enjoyed special reputation 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 163 

throughout the world. Sabres, swords, knives were 
manufactured in number of places. 

Iron Smelting It was once a very prosperous Indus- 
try in forests where fuel was in abundance. Since 
the time coal is used for this purpose industry had dis- 
appeared altogether. Iron ore found in hills is no more 
melted now as the cost of coal becomes very high. 
Generally such ore is not rich in iron. Melting of ore 
cannot profitably be done on a small scale. 

However, there are small foundries making differ- 
ent articles in different places in the country. They 
mostly use scrap iron at cheap rates, mix it with small 
quantities of pig iron and cast articles for ordinary 
use. Mostly cane crushers are made, finished and given 
on hire to agriculturists. Before the advent of sugar 
factories and even now at places where sugar factories 
do not exist the cultivator has to convert his cane into 
jaggery. Iron Kolhus are in demand. Kolhus arc gcne- 
rauy given on hire and the cost is thus repaid within 
two or three years. Though it will pay to the farmer 
to purchase his own crusher but generally he does not 
do so as in that case he will have to make arrangements 
for repairs and spare parts. In the case of hiring the 
proprietor keeps sufficient number of men who go 
about to look after the repairs and keep the Kolhus in 
good condition. He also keeps spare parts which can 
at once be provided in case of breakdown. 

The above is a very good method in popularising 
agricultural implements and should be recommended. 
It improved implements are introduced in this fashion 
with a very small outlay the agriculturist will be able 
to take to these up-to-date articles and will make use 
of them. If cooperative societies are employed for 
this business, danger of exploitation will be avoided. 

There has arisen a demand for small hand pumps 
for domestic supply of water. In places where water 
level is not more than 20 feet these small wells work 
well. "They are not very expensive and their 



164 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

fixing docs not cost much. Their repairs if once un- 
derstood is not difficult either. There arc places where 
a dealer provides these pumps on a monthly hire basis 
and takes the responsibility of keeping them in repairs. 
But this can happen only in those places where there 
is a sufficient demand to keep the man going. If the 
ordinary blacksmith be trained in the details of fixing 
the pumps and making repairs there is likelihood of in- 
troducing these pumps in many localities. 

These pumps were first imported but now the 
machines and filters arc being made in small foundries 
and only the galvanised pipe is purchased. It is, 
however, to be regretted that the attempt at imitations 
is a poor one and we have not changed the arrange- 
ment to make the machine more convenient and 
fool-proof, 

There seems to be a possibility of utilising these 
machines for irrigation purposes jfor small fields. It 
is more convenient to work them in place of Dhcklis 
if a wheeled pump is employed. It seems to be desir- 
able that comparative tests with these machines against 
Dhekli be made. Mortars pestler and other small 
machines are also made in some places. 

There is yet a scope for small foundries in which 
small agricultural machines like chaff cutters, ploughs, 
harrows and other agricultural implements may be 
made. 

There have sprung up many rolling mills which 
roll waste iron in round and flats with advantage and 
at time can undersell articles made in big factories. 
The arrangement does not require much space or 
equipment. Iron cots are also made by a few small 
workshops. Punjab has given the lead in many iron 
articles made on a small scale. Electric fan, knitting 
machines, even hand saws and plywood machines 
are attempted to be made in small establishments. 
Some of these works were started by the artisans 
themselves, while others ate started by business men who 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 165 

employ skilled labour. In Ludhiana knitting machines 
ate also manufactured on a small scale. 

LwJks Different types of locks made from brass, 
iron and other alloys are made in number of places. 
They arc both made by casting as well as by forging. 
In other countries iron is moulded on a small scale for 
this purpose known as malleable iron. If the details 
of this method are learnt by our workers we can cer- 
tainly hold our own in cheap goods. We wish that 
institutions may be opened to teach this industry 
wherein the designs, finish and the alloys may be studica. 
It is regretted that our workmen and dealers both con- 
centrate upon the production of cheap articles without 
caring as to how it will affect their trade in the long 
run. In doing so they generally make useless things 
which do not serve the purpose at all. Cheapening 
of an article can be done in many ways and we wish 
our workers would have concentrated on these ways 
instead of spoiling the workmanship and utility of tne 
article. Simplicity in designs saves more money than 
finishing an article badly. Changing the raw material 
is another method of cheapening the thing. Sometimes 
the method of manufacture brings down the cost of an 
article to a great extent. All these and many other things 
arc better ways of cheapening the cost of an article 
than selling a thing cheap and at the same time useless. 

Dealers must study the new designs coming in the 
market and try to utilize the principles involved in them. 
In foreign countries lock making is a speciality and every 
day new types are evolved whose principles can easily 
be applied to our products. There must be an arrange- 
ment to collect these designs where the workers may 
be allowed to study them. 

Finishing of locks may give us a far higher value 
than we are getting today. Electro-plating has be* 
come fine art and must be practised. We shall refer 
its details elsewhere but we wish to emphasise that 
making locks from brass is more expensive than making 



l66 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

them from iron. If iron locks be chrome plated 
they will cost less and must sell at high rates. We 
are glad that at Aligarh, which is a first-class centre 
for locks and other metal articles, Government main- 
tains a school for teaching the manufacture of many 
metallic articles but we are sorry to say that a far better 
equipment is needed for such a school and more atten- 
tion ought to be devoted upon it. Similar schools 
with aovantage may be started in other provinces. 

Furniture fittings Quite a large number of articles 
are imported from foreign countries under this cate- 
gory. 

Most of these articles are made now in the country 
but since they are made by hand, they cost much. 
There are small machines for this purpose and they 
can with advantage be introduced on hire-purchase 
system. 

Domestic iron articles Angithis, stands, tonsuls, 
chimtas, pans spoons, chains, etc., are articles invari- 
ably imported from outside. Most of our scrap can be 
easily employed for this purpose and we can easily pro- 
vide worlk tor many people. These things may not 
pay when an attempt to manufacture the whole range 
is made. One article is made by one man or parts 
of it, and then assembled together is a question which 
requires investigation and details. But here is cer- 
tainly a big scope for giving employment to many. 
There are places where water buckets are only manu- 
factured. There are others who manufacture only 
Tasks. Still others manufacture only chains and so on* 

Sass&rs and cutlery It is a very important cottage 
industry but the scientific knowledge has far advanced* 
We cannot expect much from illiterate and uneducat- 
ed people to improve their method of manufacture. 
Besides the general handicaps from which all the 
cottage industries suffer is the ignorance about the 
suitability of the steel for this purpose and arrangement 
for obtaining it* Generally ordinary wrought iron or 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 1 67 

mild steel is used for the purpose and for better quality 
old worn out files are used. It is but necessary that 
these people be supplied with the best type of steel 
suitable for cutlery and scissors so that the quality of 
their goods be maintained. Some of the artisans 
are quite capable of finishing good and nice articles 
but what can they do without suitable raw material and 
good equipment for the purpose. The latter may 
partially be replaced by their skill but the former can- 
not be replaced at all. The method of forging as now 
adopted is very time-consuming and expensive. We 
saw in Japan a cheap device for hammer locally made 
from motor springs to which a suitable hammer is 
attached. This hammer is run by hand and the spring 
action gives a uniform beating and quickly gives it 
the required shape. Similar or a modified equipment 
may be made with advantage. Article must be attrac- 
tively finished either by polishing or by electro-plating 
so that it may find a ready market. If in places like 
Meerut, noted for scissors, an electroplating house 
be maintained, the sale of scissors is likely to go 
up, 

Steel trunks and iron safes We arc glad to sec that 
both these things are manufactured in cottages in quite 
a large number. Though there are started some big 
factories, but their number is very small. There is a 
great scope for the expansion of this industry. If 
the workers are organised and supply of raw material 
and sale of the finished goods is assured, there is like- 
lihood of a brisk business in this line. However, 
variety of design and standardisation will pay if we want 
to create a language of the market. 

Wire netting During the war many establishments 
made successful attempts to make wire netting by 
very crude equipment. Galvanized black iron wire as 
well as brass wire is used for the purpose. We think 
this industry is likely to survive if the Government 
supplies the -necessary technique and equipment. The 



l68 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

handloom method now employed may be quite useful 
and cheap for certain articles only. 

Wire drawing Silver and gold and other wire 
drawings are a very old industry. There are very 
small machines used in foreign countries for this pur- 
pose. These machines do better work with far less 
manual labour. We wish their use may be made common 
and some system of hire and purchase be adopted 
to bring these within the easy means of the ordinary 
artisan. Silver and gold wire is used for embroidery 
purposes and they are sufficiently fine. Sometimes 
alloys are also worked up. These wires are also used 
in ornaments but generally the goldsmiths make their 
own wires instead of purchasing them, 

Metal haves It is another cottage industry. Lead, 
silver and gold are the main metals used. The industry 
is dying because of the cheap articles imported from 
foreign countries. If small hammering machines 
worked by hand or by small motors are introduced 
the industry may revive. We can add bronze and 
aluminium powder with advantage in the above list. 

Tin Smithy There is not a single city where tin 
smiths do not" make thousands of domestic articles from 
tin sheets. The manufacture of containers for different 
articles are, however, made by machines. We wish that 
the use of small punches and presses be made common 
so that articles may not only be uniformly finished 
but a variety of designs may be made by these artisans 
as then they will more easily be able to change the 
dies. Hurricane lanterns, small caskets, etc., are some 
of the well-known articles that can easily be made. 
Japanese toys are mostly made by small punching 
machines and presses. The ingenuity of one worker 
will be a great asset if we once introduce these small 
machines and teach the artisans their uses. These 
machines are neither complicated nor expensive. 

Buttons Metal buttons both of tin and aluminium 
and other metals are quite a good line and some people 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 169 

are already manufacturing them on a big scale. Seve- 
ral firms supply these machines. 

This line of metal industries is quite a big one. 
We have simply tried to illustrate. We do not claim 
to make the list an exhaustive one, nor can we do so 
within such small space. Readers can themselves 
expand the list and can add many more articles to the 
above list. 

At number of places, specially Ambala and Agra, 
scientific apparatus are being made in very small work- 
shops and they are quite good and useful. Since elec- 
troplating is introduced they are very well finished. 
We have dealt with this matter at a separate place. 

In all big cities there have sprung up many repair 
shops which repair motor cars, busses, bicycles, etc. 
These workships are fitted with lathes, drills, etc., and 
can easily do ordinary repairs. In these workshops 
some workers exhibit ingenious methods of doing 
things and make very delicate parts. We wish encour- 
agement to such small men be given to show their skill. 

If the country is industrialised there will be a great 
demand of small tools and machines and new inven- 
tions. All this development will be easier if intelligent 
mistris are utilised for this purpose and they are en- 
couraged to evolve and manufacture their own 
machines. In Japan complicated machines are made 
in very small workshops. The artisans if they have not 
good arrangement for making any part specially steel 
castings, they get the part made from elsewhere, other- 
wise they finish the whole thing themselves. We 
purchased confectionery machinery and machinery 
for preserves and Sharbats (cold drinks) from a very 
small man who had only a small foundry, a lathe and 
drill in his own workshop. There are very small work- 
shops run by ordinary mistris wherein filter presses, 
vacuum pans (small si2c) small lathes and drills, zip 
machines, presses and the like are manufactured ana 
sold. Thousands of such small workshops are found 



170 COTTAGB AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

in big cities and they mostly manufacture small machines 
for tnc cottage workers. A similar thing if started in 
India and the artisans are organised thev will not onlv 
make money for themselves but will make small 
machines by which others can have a good living. We 
have depended too much on foreign countries and have 
made it a fetish to get all machines from abroad. If 
once we encourage our skilled workers we can change 
the face of the country in a very short time. 

Screw cutting Bolts and nut manufacture, iron 
nails, manufacture of files, etc., arc all small things which 
can be successfully made by cottage workers. Even 
the machines for these can be made in cottages. Or- 
ganise skilled mistris, provide them with modern 
tools and finance them and you will find them manu- 
facturing many small and useful machines* Let their 
intelligence be utilised for the evolution of new tools 
and machines. 

Blacksmiths -arc found in every village and they 
generally help the agriculturist with their sicill and art. 
Some of them have started making Persian wheels, 
buckets of different types, forged utensils, etc. Their 
ingenuity shows that they are capable of doing far more 
complicated jobs if opportunity is granted. By the 
advent of improved agricultural implements they are 
being thrown out of employment. They are forced to 
go to urban areas to search new avenues for their liv- 
ing. In a country where three-fourths of the population 
live on land, the small number of blacksmiths would 
have been inadequate to supply the modern needs of 
the farmers if instead of concentrating on the imports 
of improved implements we would have introduced their 
manufacture in villages. We ought to <have analysed 
our needs and then ought to have divideo the work in 
such a fashion that agricultural implements and machines 
would have been manufactured an villages while only 
those which require big equipment for manufacture 
would have been imported. 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 17 1 
BRASS, COPPER, ALUMINIUM AND BELL METAL 

This industry is found practically in every big 
city. Utensils or different types mostly for domestic 
use are manufactured. The work is either done by 
casting or by beating metal sheets to a shape. Metal 
sheets are generally imported but casting is done from 
scrap mixing with it a small quantity of metal. This 
industry meets the local need. There arc places 
which are famous for different articles which arc ex- 
ported to large distances, 

Places like Moradabad in U.P. have made a special 
name and though the artisans arc simply exploited by 
the wealthy merchants but still the industry gives 
employment to many people. We require new ideas, 
improved method of manufacture and the introduction 
of articles in new places to keep the industry going but 
artisans arc too poor and illiterate to acquire these 
things and the capitalists seldom care to look beyond 
their nose. Unless cottage workers are themselves 
organised, the industry will not prosper. 

We are glad that aluminium sheets and ingots will 
now be prepared in India and we shall not have to 
import this cheap and valuable metal. During the 
war a great many new alloys of aluminium are dis- 
covered. It is but desirable that all that knowledge 
should be made available to our workers so that they 
may be able to manufacture new articles before our 
market is flooded with them from outside. Study 
of allovs and their manufacture is a very important 
field or development. 

Curious ornamental figures and other articles of 
arts are made at different places and some of them are 
very artistically carved. These articles are purchased 
by travellers and are taken to foreign countries. There 
is some export in these articles too. If we want to 
export, a regular study of the taste of the people seems 
to be necessary. 



IJZ ' COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

Many articles of domestic use are imported from 
foreign countries, many of which can easily be made 
in India, 

Artistic wares In many places old artistic designs 
still survive. There is a lot in this art which if pro- 
perly organised is likely to supply the need of the modern 
world. Inlaid work or enamelled work of Multan 
may be an instance. Bidriware of Hyderabad may be 
another instance. In the former work is done in silver 
buttons. The latter is an old art started during the 
period of Bahamni kings. Zinc and copper are alloyed 
in certain proportions. This alloy assumed jet black 
colour. Tne articles are finished with charcoal and 
sesame oil. Articles are then moistened with 
copper sulphate and carved. In the crevices so made 
silver sheets and wires are hammered and polished. 
They are then heated and smeared with a special type 
of earth. Trays, match box and other articles are made 
in this fashion. 

In number of cities perambulators were made 
before the War. During the War bicycle parts are 
being made in number of places. How far these attempts 
will survive is a question which only future will decide* 
In other countries parts are made in small establishments 
and there is absolutely no reason as to why such articles 
cannot be made with advantage in our country. 

Silverwares Rich people use silver utensils. Differ- 
ent artistic designs are made for presentation on cere- 
monial occasions. There is a good trade in foreign 
countries in these articles. Beautiful designs and 
carvings are made. It is an art which gives living 
in many centres to a number of people. 

Since the advent of different types ot alloys, Ger- 
man silver is used both alone as well as in admixture 
with silver. This brings down the prices to some 
extent and the mixtures take a better polish. But in 
order to preserve the industry it seems to be necessary 
to protect the consumer from the dekler and the 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 173 

genuineness of the metalware should be guaranteed. 

Ornaments Perhaps in the east throughout orna- 
ments are worn by the children and women. Certain 
ornaments are included in the religious customs which 
must be worn on certain occasions. In every village 
there arc found one or two goldsmiths doing this 
work. New types of designs are coming into fashion. 
During last few years rich people are mostly depending 
upon the urban goldsmiths and the village worker is 
feeling the pinch of it. It seems to be desirable that 
there must be some method to acquaint the village 
worker in new designs so that the latter may keep pace 
with the modern and up-to-date fashion and designs. 

We need not go into the desirability or otherwise 
of the use of precious metals for this purpose. But 
it must be admitted that gold and silver for this 
purpose is consumed considerably and most of it is 
converted in ornaments giving employment to many 
artisans. There is a need of organizing this industry. 

FIBRE AND STRAW INDUSTRY 

It is one of the most useful industries to agricul- 
ture, India is the main supplier of jute fibre to the 
world. It also exports jute bags and other articles made 
of it. The area under this crop amounts to 30 lacs of 
acres every year. There are other fibre-crops besides 
cotton and its area on an average is estimated to be 
88,000 acres. It is regretted that fibre plants have received 
a spasmodic and ineffective attention. Most important 
indigenous fibres are San Hemp (crotalaria juncea), 
Deccan hemp (Hibiscus cannalinsuns) and agava. 
Besides these plants coir from coconut is another 
important fibre in places near the sea coast. Fibre is 
also extracted from the twigs and wood of many 
plants. Government gardens have tried a few more 
fibre plants of which Rozalla (Hiluscus sahdariflfa), 
bow string hemp (Boheneria ninea), Manila Hemp 
(musa Textiles), Newzealand Hemp (Phornrium Tenax) 



174 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

may be mentioned. All these plants yield fibres in 
foreign countries and they enter into the com- 
merce of the world. So far no attempt worth the 
name has been made to acclimatize these plants as 
regular crop. Still there are quite a number of wild 
plants which yield very strong fibre. From time 
to time Government experts have collected their names 
and have done nothing more. In foreign countries 
Thespesia Lampas and Urena Lohata are being tried 
as jute substitutes. Both of them grow wild in India. 
Some attempts were made to extract banana fibre but 
the industry could never be established in spite of the 
fact that we destroy lacs of banana plants every year. 
Sisal hemp, though in Java and other places, has assumed 
an important place as an article of trade, but in India 
it has always remained a hed^e plant. We are satis- 
fied with employing a few prisoners in jail and using 
small quantities of fibre in making strings and twines. 
Its utility has been established by big plantations started 
by foreigners in the country. 

In spite of the fact that we arc very rich in fibre 
material still we import cordage and ropes to the extent 
of 15,000 cwts. a year. Japan, though not an agri- 
cultural country, exports simply hemp plaited articles 
worth more than 40 lacs of rupees a year. It has been 
proved several times that most of our fibres can be used 
for twines, pack threads and fishing nets, etc., and that 
these articles can be easily manufactured in cottages 
still no attempt has been made to organise these indus- 
tries. 

Before proceeding further it may not be out of 
place to describe a few important plants which yield 
the commercial fibre. Jute is the most important 
fibre in which Bengal has a considerable export and it is 
exported both as fibre as well as gunny bags. Re* 
cently doth and carpets are being manufactured. 
Barring few places jute fibre is very little utilised by the 
cottage worker. In Bengal very coarse cloth-bags, 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 17 J 

strings and ropes are made from this fibre but mostly 
the fibre is sold to the mills. 

The next important fibre is the san hemp which 
grows mostly in northern India. It is mostly used 
for making ropes for agricultural purposes turned into 
Tat pattis and a little quantity is exported. It is also 
grown as a green manuring crop and ploughed down 
For manure. If plants are allowed to grow to the 
flower stage and then cut roots may enrich the soil and 
the plant may yield fibre. Its utility for spinning as 
well as for making puttis is established but no serious 
attempt has so far been made to utilise it for this pur- 
pose to a great extent. In Deccan Ambari or Dcccan 
hemp is grown as fibre crop. Though it is not as 
strong as san hemp but its utility as a fibre for ordinary 
purpose is well established. Its leaves arc also used 
as vegetable and seed is sometimes used for oil. Its 
crushed seeds in times of scarcity -are mixed with 
flour and eaten. Agava is another important fibre. 
If we would have studied its agricultural side and would 
have established some method of manufacture of 
fibre from leaves we could have used this fibre for many 
useful articles. The method of retting and extracting 
fibre by pounding is a very crude and defective method. 
Department of industries in Bombay is said to have 
devised a machine which is said to be well suited for 
that province. We do not consider this machine has 
become popular. Efforts should be continued till a 
good machine worked by power may be installed 
in suitable centres where this plant grows either as a 
hedge plant or in plantation. 

In I93J we studied in Hungary and Italy specially 
the extraction of fibre from hemp, and we were very 
much impressed by the improvements made therein. 
The first and the foremost point is to prepare the fibre* 
The finer and whiter the fibre the better the price. 
In Hungary fibre is used for making canvas cloth and 
in Italy the fibre is used both alone and mixed with 



176 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

cotton and other fibres for cloth. This is also bleached 
and dyed. The Imperial Forest Institute, Dehra Dun 
has brought out recently a pamphlet on the subject 
which gives a long list of fibre plants. This will 
convince everybody of the necessity of utilising this 
raw material. 

The first step in fibre industry is the question of 
the extraction. Hbre is generally extracted by retting 
in water. Fibre is a part of the skin of the upper por- 
tion of the plant consisting of gums, pectins and other 
organic material which cannot easily be removed with- 
out retting in water. Plants are cut and submerged in 
water, and some mud, bricks, etc., are placed on the same 
not allowing them to float. In other countries only 
clean water is used for this purpose and stones are used 
for keeping the plants down. Clean water takes longer 
period in retting but gives a far cleaner product. After 
keeping the plant in water for a number of days gums 
and pectins arc dissolved. Then the plants are taken 
out and left to dry in the sun, put in shooks standing 
longitudinally. When they become dry they are stored 
to be worked at leisure. Then they are taken to the 
factory where they arc further dried by steam and passed 
through corrugated rollers. These iron rollers break 
the plant into pieces but the fibre remains unaffected. 
The drier the plant die easier will be their breakage. 
The fibre thus obtained is then taken in hand and shaken, 
by which broken parts fall down and only the fibre 
remains in hand. This fibre still contains minute parts 
of broken wood which must be removed before any 
further process can be done. For this purpose the 
fibre is placed against a blunt revolving Knife which 
removes the wood! and leaves the fibre quite clean. Then 
the fibre is carded and woven by machinery. 

We saw in Italy another inexpensive method* A 
wooden machine is made which consists only of a block 
with * slit inside in whose hollow space the retted 
dried plant is placed and by another woodtn log hinged 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 177 

to the block it is beaten and broken. By doing this way 
several times the plant is entirely broken and only the 
fibre is left in the hand. Italian farmer thus produces 
sufficiently good and fine fibre without any admixture 
of wood. Dried plants are broken by a wooden mallet 
the work may be effectively done but the quantity 
produced will thus be small. In Japan they have made 
a more effective machine by revolving a drum over 
which iron strips arc fixed through which the plants 
are broken. 

There are two important things to be noted in the 
above process (i) that the plant be retted in clean water 
and dried and (ii) the plant may be broken so that the 
fibre may easily be separated from wood. We in In- 
dia separate the fibre after retting it in muddy water by 
hand and then fibre is washed. Our method yields 
an unclean and dirty fibre. If drying the plant after 
retting and then scutching the same in a dry condition 
is introduced the raw material will be very much im- 
proved and it will then be capable of taking fast bril- 
liant colours. If once we can produce finer and whiter 
stuff the industry will expand itself and will give em- 
ployment to many more people. 

This applies to all types of san hemps, jute, etc. 
There is another class of fibres in which the whole 
covering portion of the plant is utilised for fibre. 
Munj grass is a good instance. It is the dry leaves of 
the plant which are turned into fibre by simple beating 
and thus dividing the leaves in small portions of fibre. 
There is a third variety of fibre in which the entire 
grass is used as for instance Baib Grass, and Dab* 
Both these types of fibres are utilised in making 
strings or bans. In certain localities very fine varieties 
of bans are prepared from these fibres* We have 
seen in Italy and in other places very cheap wooden 
chairs having only four wooden sticks joined to- 
gether woven for a seat with these types of strings. la 
Madhas of different types are prepared and they 

12 



178 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

arc made of reeds woven with Munj strings. Some 
varieties are very attractive. They provide cheap, 
attractive and clean seat. They are more convenient 
than chairs. It is a pity that they cannot be easily 
exported. If some folding devices are introduced in 
their manufacture they may find a very great market. 
There is yet another variety of fibre in which the small 
and tender twigs are beaten and beautiful strong 
fibre results. Dhak twigs as well as Babul twigs are 
so utilised and ropes and strings are made out ofthem. 
Such fibre is only locally used. Such fibres possess 
exceptional qualities of strength, durability as well 
of resisting moisture. Instead of importing ropes 
from foreign countries if we make our own raw mate- 
rial we may stop the import in cordage altogether. 

Coir or the nbre of coconut is another gooa mate- 
rial. Its main place of manufacture is southern India. 
Husks are kept under water for 8 to 10 months 
covered with leaf and mats with heavy stones placed on 
the mass to submerge it below the surface of water. 
When thus retted they arc taken out and beaten to 
separate the loosened pitch from the fibre. In some 
places the fibre is cleaned with water mixed with 
tamarind flour and thus the fibre loses its dirt and becomes 
white. After the fibre is thus extracted it is spun and 
woven into different forms and shapes. 

Coir and coir goods have a fair export to the 
foreign market. In 1917-28, 194 tons of coir and 33,069 
tons of manufactured goods and 15,811 tons of coir 
ropes and cordage valued at 57,088; 11,156; 924 and 
258,991 rupees respectively was exported to foreign 
countries. If properly organised and improved methods 
of manufacture adopted, the consumption and manu- 
facture can be considerably increased. This is an industry 
which gives an employment to agriculturists in their 
leisure hours. Similar is the case with the palmyra fibre 
which is also an article of trade and the fibre is used 
for brushes in foreign countries. Aloe fibre is another 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 179 

important fitre which is extracted in a crude method 
in jails. There exists a big plantation in Mysore 
State where fibre is extracted by machine and thread 
of good strength is made from it. There are cheap 
mechanical methods by which more and better fibre 
can be extracted but very little attempt seems to have 
been made in introducing these methods. 

All the above and many other fibres are used for 
the manufacture of ropes, strings, mats, foot boards 
and for many other articles. Tne importance of this 
raw material points out the necessity of systematically 
studying the details of the industry and putting it on 
a very sound basis. 

Mat industry It is entirely a neglected industry. 
From very old times different types of mats are manu- 
factured in the different parts of the country. But their 
demands have remained confined to localities where 
they are manufactured. Japan used to send different 
types of attractive mats both painted, decorated and 
plain and they were at once patronized by Indians show- 
ing thereby that there existed a demand 'for this cheap 
article. There is no reason why Indian mats would not 
have been consumed if they would have been organised 
by the same method as in Japan. Mats in Japan are 
made by poor people and in cottages. Their position is 
no way better than our people but since they were or- 
ganised by the Government and the trade was pushed 
forward, Japan could provide work for their countrymen 
while our workers remained helpless and starving. In 
India, barring the fibre mats, different types of leaves are 
employed for this purpose. These mats are generally 
brittle and when oriea are easily broken and so their 
export has not found favour. Fortunately there are 
grasses, just as good if not better, which can produce 
just as good a matting as produced hi Japan. Sital- 
pattis of Bengal and Korai matting or Madras ate 
well-known types which produce very fine mats and 
they can easily be exported and can stand travelling 



l8o COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

long distances. No attempt seems to have been made 
to grow korai grass at other places. If a thorough 
search be made we are sure that many more grasses 
will be found useful for this purpose. But who is 
to make such a research ? 

Braided and Plaited Goads Japan exports braided 
and platted goods over and above the mats which we 
have discussed above. Fibre braids coloured or plain, 
are very common. They arc turned into different 
articles such as hand -bags, fancy curtains, etc. The 
biggest use is made of wheat or barley straw in this 
connection. Though wheat straw is a valuable fod- 
der but barley straw is difficult to be cut or treaded 
fine and so it is not palatable to the cattle. From the 
point of view of a plait maker it is the best straw. 
Mostly straw hats and other articles arc made out of it. 
Straw can easily be decolourised by sulphur fumes and 
then it can easily be given fast dyes. The straw can 
also be used as a drink-stick. It is far cleaner and sani- 
tary than the parafttnncd paper generally used. All 
countries use straw for this purpose. 

IStgffabh Brjstfes It is anotncr valuable line to uti- 
lise fibre and many twigs of plants. We import large 
quantities of brushes every year from foreign countries, 
tnough brush making is our oldest an. If a proper 
investigation be made we can export large quantities 
of bristles to foreign countries and can utilise them 
ourselves. 

Hand-made Paper It is another fibre industry. In 
Japan hand-made paper is mostly used for writing 
in Japanese characters. If legislation is enacted to uti- 
lise only hand-made paper for certain purposes it may 
find a better sale. Japanese have devised small digest- 
ing pans, small electric driven beaters and a very in 
genious and inexpensive method of drying paper with 
die help of heat kindled and maintained by the rubbish 
locally available. All these devices can easily be 
introduced and the cost of making paper can be brought 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 

down. Quantity of paper can also be improved. 
In Japan generally a ream of 450 sheets is easily made 
per day by one man. We do not know why our out- 
put is so low. 

All varieties of paper for which there exists only 
a limited demand may useful iy be manufactured by 
hand. It will never be worth while for big factories 
to take to these articles. Blotting and filter paper 
may be such kinds. Costly papers like invitation 
cards, fancy writing pads etc, are prepared in all coun- 
tries by hand. At any rate this industry can only exist 
on patronage. Some type of patronage may be creat- 
ed in the country for special types of papers. 

Paper machine: Is an art which dates back from 
centuries. Kashmir is well known for artistic designs 
in paper machine and even to-day beautiful articles 
are made. There is a need for a flow of new designs 
and its use for new articles, if we care to keep people 
in trade. Decorations require change according to 
fashion and taste of the people. The more the literacy 
spreads the more will DC the waste paper available. 
It the industry develops we can make good use of the 
waste material and will be able to feed many mouths 
by this industry. 

TOBACCO INDUSTRY 

Bidi : From a very long time tobacco is one 
of the important cash crop in India. Practically 
in every city and town there are people who prepare 
and sell tobacco for Hukka smoking. Most of the 
people are addicted to smoking. But since Hukka 
is not handy to be taken from place to place nor fire 
is easily available, Bidi is the poor man s luxury. It 
is difficult to trace the history of this industry but no* 
body can deny that it is India's invention* To trace 
a suitable leaf and to prepare the tobacco which will 
easily burn and to give the necessary blends ate all 
the details worked oat by the workers themselves. 



1 82 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

There are thousands of children and women employed 
in this industry. Bidis are cheap and people of ordi- 
nary means prefer them to cigarettes. Tne industry 
must have developed much more but for the fact that 
the leaves employed are not available throughout the 
country. The Bidi makers are not tobacco farmers. 
The Department of Agriculture has not taken any 
interest in blending or the propagation of trees for the 
supply of leaves, nor in culturing the proper type of 
tobacco. No attempt seems to have been maae to 
discover other leaves suitable for the purpose. We 
arc sure that there must be found many more varie- 
ties of leaves if a proper search is made. If proper 
blending of tobacco is done we can certainly produce 
Bidi, wnich will suit the fashionable people and will 
replace cigarette. The blending of tobacco and the 
preparation of tobacco is a highly developed art and 
all that knowledge ought to be applied to this impor- 
tant industry. We see a great future of this industry if 
intelligent scientific people take interest in its improve- 
ment. It will prove to be a good subsidiary occupation 
for the agriculturist and must be encouraged. 

In spite of such a simple occupation the cream of 
business goes to the middlemen and the Karkhane- 
dars do a brisk trade while the labourers are paid 
low. In spite of all this it is quite a suitable cottage 
industry. The extent of business can be gauged by 
the fact that in Bombay there are number of Karkhanas 
employing more than one hundred people. The out- 
put or one of these establishments is 5 lacs of rupees 
and that of the other 6 lacs in a year. 

The importance of tobacco industry can be gauged 
by the fact that in 1938-39 we imported tobacco and 
tobacco products worth more than one crore of rupees. 

Cheroots and Cigars : It Js a very old and import- 
ant industry in South of India. It is very difficult tx> 
say as to how this industry was first started. Trichno- 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 1 8 J 

poly started it first. The first firm began work in 1850* 
About 1870 Waraiyar manufacturers imported people 
from Pondichery who could wrap and roll cigars 
more neatly with their left hand. These cigars became 
very popular and began to be exported to Europe. 
Though tasteful and agreeably pungent Indian cigars 
are at a disadvantage in as much as their colour is darker 
and their flavour is not as good as of the foreign make. 
About 1890 Messrs. Spencer & Co. entered the field 
and they have now practically a monopoly of this trade. 
It proves beyond doubt as to what can be achieved 
by the proper organisation of an industry, however 
small it may be. 

We give a short description of this industry from 
Madras Report : 

"It is said that peculiar saltish water of Dindigul 
and other parts of the Madura District is specially suited 
for the growth of tobacco used for cigar manufacture. 
The chief growth of characteristics of the smoking 
tobacco is its ready ignition and retention of fire* 
This sort of tobacco is available in places where the 
soil and water contain nitrous salts, i.e., nitrate of potas- 
sium and sodium. 

Tobacco intended to be converted into cheroots 
is dipped for a night in pots of fermented jaggery water 
to which some salts are added and is taken out the 
next morning and dried in shade so that it might be 
soft enough for working. It is generally wrapped 



etc/' 



The above description shows that the method 
of manufacture can easily be learnt and there are number 
of places in India where this type of tobacco can be 
grown. In the whole of Hisar and part of Rohtak 
water contains nitrous salts. There are other places 
containing nitrous salts where tobacco easily grows* 
If the industry goes in intelligent hands, it can be 
considerably .developed and we do not see any reason 



1 84 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

why the import of cigars cannot be entirely stopped. 
It is also possible to build foreign trade* 

CigarettesPot ordinary cigarettes automatic ma- 
chines may be required. The factory does not require 
much labour. Even the power required is not much. 
We do not see any reason as to why small factories 
employing only a few hands cannot be started. If the 
industry is started on cottage scale in different localities 
it will give employment to agricultural labour inas- 
much as large numbers will be required for growing, 
picking and curing tobacco leaves. With such a huge 
population, most of whom smoke tobacco, there is a 
good chance of creating a subsidiary occupation for 
the agriculturists. 

Though the Department of Agriculture has done 
a lot in the introduction of various strains of American 
tobacco and arranging for curing barns but there seems to 
have been made no attempt to investigate the possi- 
bilities of starting industries connected with tobacco. 
It is regretted that the activities of agricultural depart- 
ment in India are restricted only to agricultural ope- 
rations. The Department takes no interest in the com- 
mercial development and research of the utility of 
agricultural products. It is one of the main functions 
of the Department in America and they daily discover 
new uses of agricultural produce by which the farmer 
is very much benefited. We wisn that the Depart- 
ment should take interest in not only discovering new 
uses of our products but at the same time finding sub- 
sidiary employments for the cultivator. 

Chewing tobacco It is another cottage industry 
which gives employment to many people in urban areas. 

OIL, SOAP AND PERFUMERY 

There are very few places where oil is not pro- 
duced in the villages. Since the advent of oil mills 
this industry has suffered greatly. Poor men eke out 
their living somehow. No improvement* is made in 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES l8j 

his equipment nor has he been helped in the purchase 
of raw material or the sale of his product. He cannot 
be expected to keep stocks of oil seeds, neither he has 
the money nor sufficient space for storage. How does 
he manage to live is really a miracle. 

We are glad to say that Mahatma Gandhi has come 
to his aid and the All-India .Spinners' Association is 
trying to evolve improved Ghanis and popularising 
his products. 

Some people put a pertinent question and ask: is 
it possible to keep the small oilman in business when 
his extraction of oil is so low and his cost of working 
is high ? On the face of it the question may be answered 
in the negative. But if we give the necessary thought 
to this important question we must answer it in the 
emphatic affirmative. If the artisan is helped by 
the Government, oilman, we are sure, can still hold 
his own against the mill industry. We hope the rea- 
ders will excuse us for entering into the details of our 
arguments. 

All oil seeds can be divided into two varieties. 
The first variety comprises of those seeds whose oil 
cake is a valuable feed for the cattle and the second are 
those whose oil cake cannot be so utilised. We need 
not say that the value of oilcakes as a feed lies in its 
protein and fat contents, fat being more important 
than protein. Protein contents of oilcake remain the 
same whether they are made by the small man or by 
the factory. As tar as we are aware the digestibility 
of oilcakes prepared in the mills and the ghanis has not 
been compared, but the palatability of the oil cakes 
prepared in the ghanis is considered to be high. Oil 
contents in the oilcakes prepared in ghanis is certainly 
high than the oilcakes of the mills. It is unfortunate 
that ghani oilcakes fetch the same price as those of 
the mills and the government or the department of 
Agriculture has never cared to grade oilcakes accord* 
ing to their oil contents* If this would have been done 



1 86 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

the oilman must have been compensated for his labour. 
We cannot expect a wooden Government to take 
interest in stopping adulteration in cattle feeds when 
they have not done anything in connection with human 
feed. Thus the readers will see that the industry is 
being killed not on account of its inherent fault but 
more because we have not adopted the method of guaran- 
teeing oil contents of oil cakes in the country. Will 
the officials come to the aid of the industry now ? 

Second point which we want to impress is the 
edibility of the oil itself. Sesame and mustard oils 
are generally used for human consumption. Mill 
made oils are not so good as those which are made by 
ghanis. The more oil you express the more impuri- 
ties you add to it. All gums, pectins, etc., are mixed up 
with oil in mill extraction. If oil so extracted is to be 
purified by the use of caustic soda we shall have to re- 
move the alkali by some other means. Cold drawn 
oil from the ghani is far more suitable than the mill 
made oil for edible purposes. That being so, is it not in 
public interest to protect and help ghani oil for edible 
purposes? People who use oil as food will be quite 
willing to pay higher price for genuine, unadulterated 
oil extracted by ghanis against mill oil. If Government 
makes a law to prohibit mills to extract sesame and 
mustard seed oil industry in the villages will at once 
be doing a useful service and can easily be established. 
We wish that by law the function of ghanis be separated 
from those ot the mills and encouragement to this 
dying industry be given. 

Ghanis can be more useful in extracting castor oil 
for medicinal purposes. This oil sells at a far higher 
rate than the ordinary castor oil. If the industry 
is organised India can stop the import of this oil and 
can supply the foreign market with it. 

We further visualise that refined oil must replace 
the hydrogenated oil. Of course, the use of refined oil 
as an adulterant of Ghee, for which the hydrogenated 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 187 

oil is mostly used, may not be so readily acceptable but 
for frying and other uses it will prove to be tar cheaper 
than the hydrogenated oil. If this industry is grafted on 
to the Ghani industry, the latter can easily survive. 

It does not mean that we should not try to make 
improvement in our ghanis. By all means the im- 
proved kolhus designed by the All-India Spinners' 
Association may be introduced and full advantage of 
the up-to-date machines be taken. We rather desire 
that electric ghanis must be started in villages for oils 
not used for food. 

There are number of other oil seeds whose oil has 
specific properties and whose quantity is not so large 
as to attract the mill people to take to their crushing. 
If these oils are properly advertised there can be created 
a demand for them and they are likely to give a remu- 
nerative wage. Margosa or Nim oil may be mentioned 
as an instance. Its specific disinfectant qualities are 
very well known and it fetches a high price in several 
localities. 

In spite of the fact that in most of the universities 
in India, wherever industrial chemistry is taught as a 
subject, oil and soap is the main subject taught and 
yet we have not been able 'to replace articles like oil 
cloth, linoleum, varnish and paint which we import 
every year to the tune of lacs of rupees. 

Paint and Varnish Practically in every city there 
are hundreds of people who used to get their living 
by making paints and varnishes. Barring very ordi- 
nary types now all varnishes and paints are purchased 
by these artisans and their trade is practically ruined* 
Manufacture of paint and varnish does not require 
very 'elaborate machinery, barring a good mixing 
and grinding equipment. We wish that this trade 
should remain in the hands of the cottage workers 
specially when we know that many of these artisans 
are quite intelligent, ingenious and know their job* 
If we utilise; them and encourage them we shall not 



1 88 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

stand in need of imports from foreign countries. It 
is a pity that we export linseed to foreign countries 
and tnen again get the same oil in the form of varnish 
and paint and pay exorbitant price for the same. 
Perfumery and Essential Oils Oil seeds perfumed 
with flowers and then expressed give perfumed oil. 
The demand for this type of oil will always remain small 
and so this work will have to be done by the small 
man. Refining oil and making it thin to suit the taste 
of the people and perfuming the same by scents is 
another industry which employs a few people in cities. 
If the work is done by more intelligent people who have 
the experience and knowledge of chemistry, this in- 
dustry is likely to become very prosperous. The 
blending of perfume is an art and cannot be taken up 
bjr anybody and everybody. Even now very expensive 
oils are imported from abroad and people are willing 
to pay fancy prices for them. Many chemists can earn 
much more than their salaries, if they take to perfumery 
and oil-refining trade. 

Essential oil industry has assumed quite a big 
dimension in other countries and there is a big scope 
for its expansion in this country. In spite of the synthetic 
perfumes there is still a great demand for genuine 
article provided it is available. Laws for grading 
and guaranteeing the genuineness of an article are 
absolutely essential to protect the industry. But our 
cry seems to be in the wilderness. We hope the next 
Government may take more interest in these things* 
In Kanauj (U.P.) still there are many people depending 
upon the manufacture of Khas, Chameli and other oils. 

Research is a great necessity. In Java when the 
sugar industry was given a set-back, Java Government 
started developing the Khas plant and succeeded in 
producing a strain which develops three times the 
Khas essential oil than what Indian plant contains 
with the result that within a short period they mono- 
polised the trade of the world and India lost its posi- 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 189 

tion. You cannot expect an ordinary illiterate man to 
find ways and means for such improvements. The 
Research Board does not try to solve such things, 
as the poor man is neither vocal nor there is anybody 
to look to his needs. Need we point out that Khas 
plant grows at a place where nothing else will grow. 

We are glad that Mysore Government has started 
the plantation and has planted big areas of waste land 
under Khas cultivation. 

India is full of plants yielding essential oils. Some 
work has been done in Dehra Dun Forest Research 
Institute. Thanks to the indefatigable work of Dr. 
S. Krishna who is always keen to find out new field 
for his activities. We require hundreds of chemists 
like him to investigate the possibilities of our products. 

We wish that the useful research literature published 
in Dehra Dun is made available in our own vernaculars 
so that the man who matters may be able to utilise it. 

IiMcalyptus Oil It is an important medicine and is in 
great demand. The trees grows all over India with ease. 
It grows to a great height in a short period. 17 years 
old plant is considered to have leaves of right maturity. 
Extraction of oil is very simple. Leaves are taken 
from the plant and are allowed to dry in the shade. 
When they are dried they are transferred to a still 
ordinarily 4 ft. high and z ft. in diameter made with 
copper plates at the bottom and iron sheets at the sides. 
At a little distance there is placed a false perforated 
bottom under which water is kept to generate steam. 
An outside arrangement to replace water is kept. 
Over the perforated plate, the leaves are placed, and 
the still is tightly closed. In this ltd above there is 
a pipe which takes the steam from the still to the con* 
denser which is kept surrounded with cold water. 
Steam along with oil is condensed. It has to be fur- 
ther decanted and again mixed with small quantity of 
water and a little of caustic soda and again distilled in 
a smaller still. By this treatment oil becomes white and 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

is sold to trade. It is a cottage industry mainly prac- 
tised in Nilgiri where Eucalyptus is a common tree 
and is cut mostly for firewood. The oil is mostly 
produced at contracted rates settled with the dealers 
who make advances to the distillers. 

Lemon Grass Oil In number of places lemon grass 
oil is similarly prepared and sold. The grass also grows 
abundantly in number of places and there is a good 
demand for this oil both in the country and outside. 

Other essential oils can be mentioned such as 
acacia, rose, thyme, mint, lemon oil (Citronella), 
etc. If the essential oil industry is well organised it 
can give employment to both the distillers and the 
agriculturists. The arrangement for steam distilla- 
tion is auite simple and can easily be adopted. 

Fist) Oil Extraction offish oil is a very old indus- 
try in Madras. Small establishments do this work. 
Fish after extraction is used as manure. This industry 
has assumed considerable importance since the time it 
has been discovered that shark oil contains vitamins 
useful to human body. There is likely to be develop- 
ed a foreign trade in this article. 

Ordinary fish oil is used for making soap, jute 
batching, sheet tempering, in the manufacture of paints, 
varnishes and for other purposes. The method of ex- 
traction is very simple. Fish are boiled over fire with 
water. By heating oil comes on the surface. Fish 
is filled in sacks and is pressed in ordinary screw press 
by which the remaining oil is pressed out. Then oil 
and water are kept for some time so that oil may float 
over water and may easily be decanted. 

SOAP 

Soap making is a very old industry. Before the 
use of caustic soda India was making its soap both 
from ret and sajji matti and vegetable sajji. In all 
big cities reh or sajji was causticised by caustic lime 
and boiled with oil to produce soap. Though the tech- 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 

nique of soap making was not studied in all its details 
yet good washing soap was prepared and sold. It 
is said to possess more washing properties than the 
washing soap now manufactured, perhaps due to the 
presence of potash and free alkali. 

Soap manufacture has become now a fine art and 
requires a great deal of experience and knowledge 
to prepare a good soap. There exist a great many 
type of soaps which are now made and sold under 
fancy names. Though factories require quite an ela- 
borate arrangement for soap manufacture, yet skill 
and good technique will always produce good soap. 
All semi-boiled and cold process soaps and so also 
liquid soaps can be and are made in cottages. 

It is a pity that in order to cheapen soap people 
adulterate them with soapstone, starch, etc., which 
have absolutely no detergent properties. In spite of 
many big factories, we still believe, there is a large scope 
for a good intelligent worker provided instead of using 
inert fillers the manufacturers are given an insight 
into the use of detergents which produce soap both 
at once cheap and useful. Local soaps can always 
command a good sale provided they are well maae. 
We wish short courses may be provided to give train- 
ing in soap manufacture and sufficient knowledge 
in the up-to-date methods of manufacture. Of course 
the provision of raw material will be necessary. This 
cleaning substance can and must be produced in every 
village and must provide employment to a great many 
people. Raw material and market being at hand there 
is a good scope for this industry. 

Specialised soaps, which have a little demand 
but where the margin of profit is very high, can better 
be made on a small scale provided some chemists 
utilise their time in the technique and investiga- 
tion. 

Timber and Wood iMfasftyTbi* industry gives 
employment .to thousands of people. There are spe- 



192 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

clal facilities existing in India to do this work on a cot* 
tagc scale. 

In spite of the forest services being sufficiently 
old and the Research Institute, Dehra Dun doing 
useful work we cannot help saving that our forests 
are not systematically developed. Commercial utili- 
sation of forests is yet in its infancy. Whatever in- 
dustries are started wherein a special type of wood 
is needed we are always confronted with the remark 
that the quantity available is so small and distributed 
that we cannot make use of it on a commercial scale. 
Good timber for making pencil was not found avail- 
able in the country and it has to be imported. Simi- 
lar was the case with match. For making bobbins 
we are confronted with the same difficulty. We con- 
sider that the Forest Department should give a better 
account of itself. In cases where suitable timber is not 
available we must have proper arrangement for utilising 
Indian wood, made suitable by artificial means of 
impregnation, seasoning or the like. 

Sine* timber is generally distributed at long dis- 
tances we are not able to start big saw mills as they 
are found in other countries. Fortunately, there- 
fore, the work of sawing timber has to be done by 
hand and about 80% of work is, so carried out. Saw- 
ing is, therefore, likely to remain a cottage work. 
But this is likely to handicap us by raising the price 
of our raw material and debarring us from the utili- 
sation of waste wood which has to be left for rotting 
at the place where logs are prepared. Valuable bark 
of the trees, leaves and twigs and the sawdust have 
all to be destroyed in the forest and is a dead national 
loss. Suitable cheap arrangement for transport there- 
fore, is the greatest need tor the development of our 
forest resources. 

The main objection raised against our timber is 
that it is full of knots and cannot be utilised for good 
furniture. Is it not due to the bad handling of the 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 193 

growth of the trees? If so, the fault does neither 
Be in the varieties of trees nor in the trees themselves 
but in the propagation of trees and the control of 
their growth. We wish that the department may try 
to overcome these difficulties so that the propagation 
of trees may be better understood and followed. In 
future our demand for good timber will be much more 
and we should not be confronted with this difficulty 
any more. 

Plywood In 1937 when we went to Japan we 
saw plywood being made on a very small scale. We 
could not believe that a similar method of cottage 
industry will be adopted in this country. We are 
glad that during the War India started producing not 
only plywood on a small scale but also succeeded in 
producing machinery for this purpose. 'Necessity 
is the mother of invention' was found to be true in this 
case. We wish that experience gained may not be 
lost. 

Since it has been established that plywood can 
be successfully made on a small scale and that being 
so we hope and trust that the cottage workers wiu 
not allow this important work to be taken away from 
their hands. We are quite conscious of the fact that 
during the War articles produced were very inferior 
and they w ill no more be tolerated during peace times. 
Let the small worker, therefore, utilise to his utmost 
the experience gained during this period. Let him 
keep his tools quite fit and let him prepare only first 
class articles without which his existence will certainly 
be jeopardised. We must concentrate on quality 
goods. Cheapness will be possible only by a Ibetter 
organisation and savings made in the fnethod of work* 
ing and by other means instead of using cheap wood 
or bad workmanship. The industry has a big future 
but its success will entirely depend upon the quality 
we produce. 

Woodwares It is a very big and extensive line 



194 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

and includes packing cases, crates, tent poles, tool 
handles, barrels, bobbins, reels, spindles, railway 
sleepers, furniture, etc,, etc. It also consists of many 
carved articles which have a big sale. Most of the 
work is done in small cottages. There is a great 
demand for different articles at different places, but the 
success of the industry depends Upon the quality and 
availability of the material. During the War trees 
have been ruthlessly cut down in the forests as well 
as in the plains. Timber takes a long time to grow and 
unless we concentrate upon conserving our supplies 
we shall feel the pinch of shortage very soon. It 
seems to be essential that the Forest Department may 
take very keen interest in educating people as to how 
poor wood can be utilised for better products and 
how a tree can be economically used. Therein lies 
our future salvation. In Japan even the furniture 
required for the houses is standardised and no odds 
size is available. This avoids wastage. As soon as a 
tree is cut every part of it should be utilised with 
economy and propaganda for utilising every piece for its 
best should be made. 

There is a great weakness in our timber trade 
inasmuch as we have no good arrangement for season- 
ing. This requires locking up of capital and season 
ing is a time-consuming process besides the skill and 
technique necessary for its success. To depend upon 
private enterprise may not be feasible. The work 
should be taken up by the Government and seasoned 
wood must be sola by them. Some sort of certificate 
certifying the kind of wood employed be introduced 
so that tne users of seasoned wood may be protected. 
. During theVar bobbins, spindles, reds, etc., are 
being made in India which were generally imported 
before. It is essential that this trade may be established 
now on sound lines. This can only be done by 
improving the article on the one hand and patronising 
the indigenous article on the other. 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 195 

In furniture, toy making and also producing 
carved articles if division ot labour is introduced 
amongst the cottage worker wherein some operations 
are performed by one class of people and the other 
by others, articles will be made cheaper and quality will 
also improve. This is only possible when a reason- 
able allocation of the cost of manufacture of different 
stages be fixed by some semi-government organisation. 

Turning is a good line in wood trade and articles 
like cot stands, cradles, cups, tumblers, ash trays, etc., 
are produced in innumerable varieties. Lacquer goods 
is another branch quite well done in many places. 
To keep the workers in trade attractive designs is the 
main need. 

Furniture Fashion and taste of the people are 
daily changing. Foreigners take advantage of their 
study and export very expensive furniture to be consum- 
ed in the country. If we want to keep the cottage 
worker alive we have to take effective measures so 
that the artisans keep pace with the times. 

Bamboo, Cane and Rattan Work Articles of beauti- 
ful designs consisting of baskets, chairs, screens and 
curtains are made practically in all big cities. In Japan 
a special study is made of the different varieties of bam- 
boos. The variety of article made from bamboo is 
perhaps the largest in Japan than elsewhere. It will 
pay us if we study and introduce new articles in the 
country. Small and big curtains and artistically print- 
ed chiles was the main import from Japan, we can 
now make all these articles in our own country and 
give employment to many. Cane and rattan work 
is made in cities and there is a great demand for suchr 
type of work. Chairs, tables, waste paper baskets 
are some of the articles generally used everywhere* 
In some places even carriages made of cane with cycle 
wheels drawn by horses are used. They are very 
light and well made. It is an art which creates ant 
aesthetic taste. 



196 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

India produces rattan and cane but they are not 
so polished and shining as Malaca canes and, therefore, 
we are forced to import the latter. Attempts at grow- 
ing better variety be made and conditions under which 
it grows more elastic and polished be studied. 

Stone Work Industry This industry gives employ- 
ment to many people in places where suitable stones 
are available. The work is done by hand. Soap- 
stone and marble stone chips are made into beauti- 
ful artistic articles both plain and inlaid with coloured 
pieces. Alabaster is used in other places. Mortar, 
pestles, sandal grinders are other articles of domestic 
use. Stone is also used for building purposes and for 
that purpose ready made articles are sold. 

At places where slate stone is available it is used 
for roofing and for making writing-slates. If we 
survey this industry we find that very artistic designs 
and useful and cheap articles are made in number of 
places. Some of them would have found a good 
market not only at long distances but also would have 
been in demand in foreign countries, if exported. For 
want of organisation and advertisement they are only 
locally sold to the great disadvantage of the illiterate 
worker. 

Pottery and Ceramics This is the oldest art of the 
country. In villages potters used to supply variety 
of domestic utensils to every home and were paid in 
grain at the time of harvests. The custom is dying 
out Potters trade still persists and for big congre- 
gations in villages his wares are still the cheapest. 
The articles are fragile and cannot be easily exported 
so they are made for local use only. Though the in- 
troduction of brass and Chinaware has affected the 
trade yet for cheapness it has no comparison* It is 
a pity that in India there has been no attempt to improve 
the industry. In Naples (Italy) we saw beautiful 
tcrracota tea sets* In one of the biggest restaurants 
we saw all terracota articles used over and over again* 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 197 

In India perhaps the people cannot be made to believe 
that clay articles can be used over and over again 
though chinawares are no better from this point of 
view. If clay wares are suitably gla2ed they can cer- 
tainly replace chinaware specially locally. If these 
are made stronger some of the varieties may easily 
be exported. The Department of Industry should 
try to introduce scientific knowledge amongst workers 
and utilise the existing art. Glazed flooring tiles may 
be introduced with advantage. 

At places in India potters of their own accord 
have produced black glazed pottery and have manu- 
factured -tea sets and other beautiful artistic vessels 
made of clay. They should be encouraged and their 
difficulties should be solved. 

Cheap and easily melting glaze from lead salt is 
known to the people at many places and occasional 
use of it is made locally. What we require is some low 
melting glaze mixture made of glass in which lead may 
not be used so that these wares may safely be used for 
serving food. 

Toys and Figures Lucknow and other cities produce 
beautiuil figures and toys in clay. They are beauti- 
fully decorated and sold very cheap. The artistic 
design and their imitation both in colour and shape is 
marvellous. These articles can easily find a big sale 
not only in India but also in foreign countries provid- 
ed the trade is organised and suitable cheap packing 
is found for them. Natural imitation of fruits in clay 
models can find a good sale in all educational insti- 
tutions and can be very good models in clay modelling. 

Manufacture of Chinaware has been introduced 
in number of places but this is mostly done on a factory 
scale. The legitimate share of this trade does not go 
to the potter who was entitled to it. We see no reason 
as to why ordinary potters cannot be trained to manu- 
facture these articles. In Khurja (U.P.) attempt has 
been made to introduce the manufacture of stone and 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

chinawares by the potters in their cottages. How far 
we shall succeed it is yet early to say. We have seen 
the manufacture on a cottage scale of all the articles 
in Japan and we see no reason why this cannot be done 
in India, If need be, we can import some Japanese 
artisans in our country. 

The greatest difficulty in the success of this indus- 
try is the firing of the articles. If individual furnaces 
are made the cost will be prohibitive and the burning 
by coal in small furnaces will be expensive. If electric 
and coal furnaces be installed by the Government and 
reasonable charges for firing DC levied in different 
centres there should be no difficulty in developing 
this important and useful branch of industry. We 
wish in suitable localities where raw material is avail- 
able schools in ceramics may be started and part-time 
training be given to the artisans. A kiln may be in- 
stalled by the school and local workers be asked to 
bring their wares to this place for firing., If compe- 
tent men are employed the industry is likely to establish 
itself. 

Slipwares will not require much investment to 
begin with. Perhaps it may pay to send a few artisans 
for training abroad to master the technique of trade. 
BricJks and Tiles Manufacture of bricks is an allied 
industry and is already done in the country. The 
cream of industry goes to the factory owner and the 
wages of labour are very low. Tile making is another 
industry and it is only done on a very small scale by 
some of the potters out generally this is also a line 
taken up by the capitalist. The manufacture of press- 
ed cement goods is another line which is likely to give 
employment to many people. Cement is produced 
cheap enough in the country and the number of arti- 
cles made from it are daily increasing. It will be worth 
while for the cement marketing board to write out 
small pamphlets in the different vernaculars of the 
country and to open an institution wherein people 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 199 

may be trained in the making of different cement arti- 
cles. This attempt will bring about more sales of 
their cement and these trainees will serve as their best 
advertisers and users. If the cement board does not 
take up this work the industrial department may take 
it up. There are number of types of clays in the country 
which ought to be analysed and their suitability for 
ceramics be established. There are other raw mate- 
rials necessary in this connection also whose impor- 
tance must be enquired into. At present we possess 
very little information on this point. 

Fire Bricks and Refractory Ericks This is a type of 
work which can be done on a cottage scale. So 
far very little work has been done and that too by big 
capitalists. If arrangement for teaching this impor- 
tant line be made most of our young industrial che- 
mists with small capital may take up this line with 
advantage. In this line too there does not exist suffi- 
cient information about the raw material. We are 
very rich in refractories and the demand of refractory 
material will develop along with the development of 
chemical industry. The industry, therefore, should 
be systematically organised. 

Crucibles From times immemorial India was 
making use of its own crucibles. Goldsmiths even to- 
day make their own crucibles. Since the time gra- 
phite crucibles are introduced Indian-made crucibles 
have been discarded. 

Crude attempts have been made at number of 
places to manufacture graphite crucibles. Inferior 
articles cannot easily stand in competition with better 
articles of foreign make. It is, therefore, necessary 
that up-to-date knowledge may be collected and modern 
technique be employed in the manufacture of this 
important article. 

Crayons and Coloured Pasties Allied to pottery i 
the industry of making chalk crayons. Up to re- 
cently they were imported; but, now, they ate generally 



100 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

made in the country. Gypsum fcnmd in considerable 
quantities is powdered and calcined and turned into 
plaster of Pans. The latter either alone or mixed with 
gypsum powder or other substitutes is cast into crayons 
in metallic or wooden moulds. After plaster of Paris 
has set crayons are taken out and dried. If colour is 
used coloured chalk can be made. 

Pasties for writing on paper are also similarly 
made with the use of soap and other suitable material. 
Plaster of Paris itself and busts made from it can sell 
well and at a good profit. 

GLASS 

Glass is a very old industry in India. It was 
not only employed for bangles but heat resisting 
glass was made and used in medical preparations by 
ancients. Manufacture of optic glass was not unknown 
either. Glass, to-day, is a high specialised industry 
and requires both technical skill and chemical knowl- 
edge over and above the up-to-date equipment. Most 
of the articles are even now produced on a cottage 
scale and if these artisans are encouraged there is a great 
potentiality in developing their trade. We have seen 
small furnaces making block glass and supplying it to 
small blowers! There are number of cottage workers 
who prepare specific articles and supply them to the 
public. The entire work of making medicinal phials 
is being done on small scale by hundreds of establish- 
ments at Nagina in Bijnor District (U.P.). Phials manu- 
factured by these artisans are quite good and cheap. 
The entire glass-bangle industry in Firozabad is of this 
nature. There is a very big scope for developing this 
industry and it seems to be essential that the industry 
be properly organised and placed on sound basis. 

Though the subject is a very big one we shall only 
describe the organisation of glass bangles as it is one of 
the biggest line in glass trade. 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 2OI 

Glass Bangles Before the War the total supply of 
bangles was distributed as follows: 

80% of the total supply was met with by Firosabad 
(Agra District U.P.) 15% came from foreign countries 
ana 5% were made in other provinces. Not less than 
j 0,000 people are employed in this industry. We have 
the good fortune to see most of the important establish- 
ments and have the time to study their technical details. 
Block glass is supplied by a few small furnaces work- 
ing in the crudest fashion. Railways have given special 
facilities in the supply of coal to this place and this is the 
main reason as to why block glass manufacture has 
developed in this centre. Firozabad supplies not only 
block glass to the bangle makers but also exports to 
other places. 

We were struck by the ingenuity and skill of the 
process that illiterate artisans have developed. As far 
as we could ascertain the Government experts have not 
given much help to this industry, rather it was com- 
plained to us that since the time the distribution of 
supplies is taken up by the Government nepotism is 
introduced to the detriment of everybody. We cannot, 
however, vouchsafe the truth or otherwise of the 
complaint. These people have successfully devised 
their own cheap but very effective methods and 
small equipments to manufacture very complicated 
designs. It is true that new designs in bangles were 
made by Japan or Czechoslavakia but the bangle makers 
sat at them from the time these bangles were* imported 
in India and in a very short time evolved methods of 
theif manufacture; without knowing chemistry and 
physics, without copying others and without any out- 
side help, they could not only develop a method of manu- 
facture but could also evolve cheap and ingenious 
methods to do so. An expert must take off his nat and 
must be convinced once for all that there exists an origi- 
nality, resourcefulness and persistence in the In- 
dian artisan* for which every Indian must be proud. 



202 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

These people could achieve miracle if real scientific 
help would have been given them. They handle quite 
easily number of chemicals whose properties they 
understand and take full advantage of them. To create 
a mirror effect by depositing silver nitrate in their hollow 
bangles, to make use of colloide gold are some of the 
instances in point. Without making any expensive 
machine a labourer drives an iron rod over which 
ingeniously a spiral of bangles is wound up and the 
technique is so complete and effective that the sizes 
and thickness of bangles must remain uniform. Con- 
trol of heat in an open hearth is wonderful. Instan- 
taneous joining of bangles on the flame is really start- 
ling to an outsider. What would have happened if 
these artisans would not have been exploited and would 
have been helped by proper education ? We wish the 
industrialists and educated economists should see this 
place to learn as to how the division of labour is worked 
up in practice and minor operations are performed by 
number of workmen specialised in their own line. 

There is need to help and encourage these men by 
honest and sincere efforts in overcoming their minor 
difficulties. We were told that during the War Govern- 
ment discouraged the industry to their utmost and dubbed 
it as a luxury industry without knowing that wearing 
of bangles is a religious sentiment amongst Indians. 
The workers struggled and came out successful and 
prosperous. Will the Government help them now and 
encourage these artisans to assume their normal course ? 

There is need to regulate internal competition, 
standardise their goods and supply them the /raw 
material of the suitable type and in sufficient quantities. 
Movement of their finished goods have to be expedited 
and lastly to utilise their earnings in useful channel. 

* It was disgraceful to see the insanitary conditions 
under which small children work on kerosine oil 
flame. Even ordinary amenities of metalled roads 
are not available in this rising town. We wish civic 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 203 

responsibility amongst the people be created and 
a healthy atmosphere in the city may be introduced. 

Glass Beads Government has appointed a glass 
expert and his only achievement is a new industry of 
making glass beads. We saw this industry in Govern- 
ment School at Benares and were only disgusted to see 
the insanitary conditions under which the boys are 
trained to lose their eyesight and to develop lung dis- 
ease. We believe burning of kerosine oil may be 
substituted by some other inoffensive oil or electricity 
or a method of artificial ventilation may be a possibility. 
This industry has a possibility of development and 
may be encouraged. 

L*at and I <ac Industries Shellac is a side occupation of 
agricultural labour. In forests as well as in planes where 
shellac is produced number of people are employed in~ 
its collection, refining, etc. Besides preparing the article 
in saleable form shellac bangles are produced in number 
of places. Mirzapur and Benares are the main centres of 
their manufacture. Quite beautiful and cheap orna- 
ments are manufactured out of shellac and they are 
not only used by poor people but even rich people 
make use of them. Number of artistic articles are made 
in Benares and other places. 

Shellac is an insulating material and it is in good 
demand in foreign countries. Plastic is made from it 
and we hope in future there will be a big demand both 
in India and abroad of lac articles. 

AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRIES 

Besides the manufacture of Khand (Sugar), jaggery, 
flour ginning, etc. there is some work done in cottages 
in the manufacture of agricultural implements making 
of sickles, plough shares, Persian wheels and the like. 
These are manufactured at a few places but no attempt 
seems to have been made to help the design or tech- 
nique. Nor arrangements are made to supply him the 
right type o raw material. Many types of agricultural 



204 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

implements can be manufactured on a small scale. 
Harrows of different kinds, cultivators, ploughs, chaff 
cutters, etc., can all be manufactured on a small scale. 
The first thing is that the Agricultural Department 
should take interest in designing new implements 
and pass them on to the Industries Department to or- 
ganise their manufacture. The policy of asking tenders 
only from big firms and patronise the capitalist must 
cease. The skill and 'workmanship of the small man 
must be utilised. The Department knows well that 
some of their implements are the outcome of the brain 
of our ordinary mistris and they can still do more if 
they are properly encouraged. We lay great stress 
in using the talents of our carpenters and smiths in 
villages who are the hereditary workers to supply the 
needs of the farmer. If they are made literate, properly 
educated in the manufacture of implements, they can 
supply the cultivator with the best and most suitable 
tools without disturbing the tillage economy to a great 
extent. As long as we pin faith in the import of imple- 
ments from foreign countries, no headway will be made 
in this line. Both the manufacturers of implements 
and agricultural engineer are far away from knowing the 
local needs of the people. We have already wasted 
several decades without achieving any substantial 
results and will lose many more if we do not start now 
on the lines suggested above. We see a great future in 
India for the use of improved implements but we 
shall be sorry if all this trade goes to the foreign manu- 
facturer and the Department of Agriculture simply 
becomes their advertising agent. Need we emphasise 
the experience of the introduction of chaff cutters which 
never became popular till Sialkot started to make them 
in the country. We wish this trade to remain in the 
hands of those who have faithfully served the farmer 
and are capable of doing so now if they are given the 
proper training and the opportunity. 

Food Industries After agricultural implements 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 205 

comes the question of food industries. We have no 
hesitation to say that the processing of food products 
legitimately belongs to the producer. Though both 
the Central and Provincial Governments did propaganda 
for growing more food but they never cared to organise 
the food industries amongst the farmers. They took 
the most convenient and easy course of helping the 
capitalist to make money out of these industries. Arc 
the agriculturists only fit to grow crops and starve? 
When the agriculturists were asked to grow vegetables 
why were they not organised to dehydrate them ? 
A Central Co-operative Factory of the agriculturists 
could certainly be organised and the poor man could be 
helped. Was canning and preserving so difficult that 
the intelligent sons of the farmer could not take to it? 
All such things arc done by the farmers in other coun- 
tries and the farmers can certainly do them in India. 

We give below a list of food industries developed 
during the War with Government help and from their 
perusal it will be quite clear that Nos. i, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 

11, 12, I}, 14, 15, l6, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 2J, 26, 27, 

28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 4*, 
43, 44, 45, 46, 47, and 48, could easily be taken up by the 
agriculturists with a proper organisation and training: 

i. Biscuits Shakapara. 2. Biscuits Fancy. 3. Chutney. 
4. Cigarettes B.T. 5. Cigarettes I.T. 6. Coffee Ground. 
7. Condiment powder. 8. Curry powder. 9. Golden 
syrup. 10. Lemon juice, n. Lemon juice cordial. 

12. Lime juice cordial powder. 13. Mustard ground 
Refined. 14. Malt. 15. Pepper ground Refined. 16. Salt 

Refined. 17. Tobacco B.T. 18. Amla Sweet. 19. 
Arrowroot. 20. Baking powder. 21. Barley pearL 
22. Corn flour. 23. Honey. 24. Jellies Assorted. 25. 
Oat meal. 26. Pickles. 27. Sauce Table. 28. Vinegar. 

29. Custard Powder. 30. Egg powder. 31. Milk 
powder. 32. Milk powder (Full Cream). 33. Malted 
milk. 34. Dehydrated onions. 35. Dehydrated potatoes. 



206 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

36. Dehydrated vegetables. 37. Fruits dried. 38. Jam. 
39. Raisins and Nut Rations. 40. Tinned potatoes. 41. 
Canned Fruits. 42. Marmalade. 43. Ghi Milk. 44. Oil 
Cooking (Refined). 45. Oil Salad. 46. Butter tinned. 
47. Oil Groundnuts. 48. Fish dried and smoked. 

We emphasise that all food industries must be 
reserved for the farmer and others be prohibited to 
take to them. If we go on taking all subsidiary occu- 
pations from the agriculturist one by one and do not 
provide him with new industries, people cannot get a 
reasonable wage. The provision of new industries 
for the producer is essential from the point of view of a 
consumer also in as much as if the agriculturist is paid 
for his idle hours his cost of production will be reduced 
and articles of food will become cheaper. In all such 
industries there will always be a bulk of wastage which 
will ultimately go to the manure pit if food articles are 
manufactured by people other than farmers while the 
latter shall be able to utilise most of these articles as 
human or cattle feeds. 

We are, however, glad that food industries have 
made a good headway during the War and some of them 
are well established. Their continuation will remain 
ultimately not in the hands of the manufacturer, but the 
producer. Proper type of fruit, vegetable and grain 
will be the first requisite of success and this can omy be 
done by the co-operation of the growers. It may be 
the dehydrated vegetables, or the production barley or 
the manufacture of rolled oats or canning of fruits in 
all cases quality will count. It must be remembered 
that processed food is far costlier than the unprocessed 
food and that being so the consumer looks to the qua- 
lity and not to the cheapness. After the War if the 
manufacturer does not care to improve the quality he 
will soon be ousted by Quakers' oats, foreign-canned 
fruits and mustard and condiment. 

Most of these industries have started on a small 
scale and they are really the domain of cottage indus- 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 207 

tries. If once the agriculturists take to them their 
ingenuity will help them and soon their reputation will 
be established. 

CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES 

The development of chemical industries is of 
paramount importance in any country for its industrial 
advancement. In the third part we have given a long 
list of Chemical Industries which can be started on a 
cottage scale and we shall discuss here only a few 
which are already being followed or are introduced 
during the War. 

The oldest Chemical Industries are four : (i) Salt, 
(ii) Potassium Nitrate, (iii) Sodium Sulphate or Khari, 
(iv) Sodium Carbonate or Sajji Matti or Sajji. Salt 
manufacture is only done under a licence and we need 
not say anything more in detail. In our Hindi Book 
(Namak) we have described the reasons as to why the 
excise duty on salt be abolished so that the quantity 
produced may be increased and the poor man need 
not purchase his expensive salt. We still maintain 
that Indian cattle, if not human beings, suffer from salt 
starvation. Some of the industries suffer very badly 
on account of excise duty. The concession of excise 
free salt is not of very much help to these industries on 
account of the delay and botheration involved in se- 
curing the same. Besides salt would have been avail- 
able to the industries at a far lesser price than that it is 
available now. If the excise duty be removed, all 
places where salt industry was flourishing in olden times 
will again becom? prosperous and people of those 
places will reap the benefit of it. It will again become 
a source of subsidiary occupation to agriculture. 
Places like Bharatpur, Bikaner, Hisar and places near the 
sea coast will be producing salt cheaply and efficiently. 
Salt wells like those of Gurgaon will again be worked 
giving employment to thousands of people who arc 
now thrown out of employment with no fault of theirs. 



Z08 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

We state with all the emphasis at our command that the 
Government has no right not to allow this industry 
to be worked at places where no other subsidiary 
occupation to agriculture is possible. It is cruel and 
criminal of any Government to destroy an existing 
profession without giving another alternative to the 
people of that place. 

Salt manufacture was and is a cottage work costing 
nothing and there exist the sill to follow the profession. 
Fortunately the best season for work is the time when 
the cultivator remains entirely idle, even a small income 
from this work can be a great help. Since after the 
War there is likely to be a far higher demand for salt 
we invite the Government's attention to remove the 
excise duty, 

Sodium Carbonate There are wild grasses which 
contain quantities of sodium carbonate. Before the 
Lablance process was discovered soda carbonate was 
made from ashes. Spain was the main centre of this 
industry. From times immemorial this practice exists 
in the country and industry has survived till 
now. In Punjab and Sind even now sajji is made by 
burning wild grasses. It is used both for medicine and 
food. This being a subsidiary industry, arrangement 
to grade the products and supplying better technique 
be made. 

Sodium Sulphide It is a next step from sodium 
sulphate. This chemical was imported but during 
the War there arose difficulties of transport and en- 
couragement was given to the manufacture of it in the 
country. Though it seems to be a paying proposition 
to change sodium sulphate into sulphide but in order 
to place the industry on a sound footing economics of 
its manufacture must be studied. We are glad that 
huge deposits in Jodhpur State are being exploited and 
factory to manufacture sodium sulphide on a big scale 
are under consideration. How will this affect the 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 209 

small manufacture is yet early to say. Cheap sodium 
sulphide will be a great help to leather trade. 

Hydrochloric Acid The manufacture of this article 
in Bengal is a cottage industry, and it is manufactured 
in earthen pots with very little investment. With a 
small control and improved equipment it can easily 
stand against big factories. 

Nitric Acid The same applies to the manufacture 
of this article. 

Alums y Iron and Copper Sulphates There arc other 
Chemicals which are and can easily be manufactured 
on a small scale. 

Sodium Silicate It is manufactured on a cottage scale 
in number of places. If people improve the technique 
of coal economy this industry can easily be established. 

There are other chemicals, drugs and pharmaceu- 
tical preparations whose list is quite a large one, which 
can be prepared on a small scale provided the manu- 
facturer possesses the necessary knowledge, skill and 
technique. With such a large number of chemists 
in the country we hope they will have the enterprise 
to start their own manufacture. The margin is still 
sufficient to keep these establishments going. 

MISCELLANEOUS INDUSTRIES 

Below we give some of the cottage industries 
which are already in existence and which with bette* 
organisation can be placed on sound footing. Many 
fancy articles such as dolls and toys, coconut shell cover- 
ing, fancy leaf boxes (Palmyra), ornamental fans, 
engraving on either copper and brass and other metals, 
ivory work, fancy horn articles are some of the impor- 
tant articles made in cottages. They only have generally 
a local demand and sometimes are purchased as 
curios, but if properly advertised and their popularity 
is organised their sale can be considerably increased. 
For pushing up these articles a propaganda is needed. 
We can export many of these articles in quite a large 



210 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

number and can reap a rich harvest and give employ- 
ment to many people in the country. 

Musical instruments is another line in which a 
few artisans are employed. This line can easily be 
developed. 

Pi/A Work Jn some places pith work is beauti- 
fully done. Tanjore in Madras is a centre of this type 
of work. Temples, mosques, etc., are made in pith 
work and arc in great demand in the locality. It is 
a good line to develop the aesthetic taste of the students 
and it will be a suitable subject in the curriculum of 
basic education. Shola hats arc sold in the country 
in sufficient number and their main beauty is their 
light weight. The grasses giving shola pith grow 
wild in Bengal. In Delhi and other places these hats 
are prepared from piths. India abounds in pith-pro- 
ducing plants and we can introduce this industry in 
number of places with advantage. 

Umbrellas are made in number of places from 
imported ribs. It is a common industry in Bengal. 
There is difficulty in getting the right type of cloth 
and ribs at cheap rates. This industry ought to be 
properly organised. 

List not lixhaustive The above list can be made 
more extensive and so also the description may be 
expanded. We have not the space to go into more 
details but this will convince the readers that cottage 
industries are far more an important subject in extent, 
variety and employment than the organised industries. 
It is a pity that poor man is left to struggle himself 
and no attempt has been made to place cottage indus- 
tries on a sound footing. If scientific knowledge, 
mechanical skill and economic organisation are placed 
at the disposal, the cottage worker in India can be more 
easily and quickly industrialised without waiting for 
the capital goods to be imported from abroad. It 
is a pity that cottage industries, being in the hands of 
the poor man who is neither vocal nor pushing, arc 



DESCRIPTION OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES 211 

always left in the lurch. We are sure that in the future 
political dispensation of the country this step-motherly 
treatment will disappear and existing industries win 
be organised, improved, protected, and encouraged so 
that the standard of the people be raised and the money 
be better distributed amongst the masses than it is 
ever likely to be done through big industries. 



PART III 

NEW INDUSTRIES 

The cursory treatment given to cottage industries 
by the Bombay Planners and afterwards by most of 
the writers on Post-War Reconstruction clearly shows 
that the thinking public is not yet convinced of the 
huge possibilities in the development of cottage indus- 
tries. In the previous pages we have tried to show 
the details of different existing cottage and small-scale 
industries. Yet it is by no means an exhaustive list. 
Many more things can be added to them. The number 
of people actually employed in all such industries 
cannot easily be known. The figures available are 
only underestimates. But whatever data is avail- 
.able, clearly justifies the conclusion that even to-day 
cottage industries employ far larger population than 
all big industries combined. We have tried to show 
at another place that the employment to a huge popu- 
lation of this country cannot be given by the introduc- 
tion of big-scale industries. For giving employment 
to our people, cottage and small-scale industries are 
the only means of solution. It should not be mis- 
understood that we in any way disparage the value 
of big-scale industries. We do feel big industries 
have their own place and they must be developed. 
We are auite conversant that some industries cannot 
be started on a small scale and we have to concentrate 
not only in rraking our country self-sufficient in the 
manufacture of all finished goods, but also we must 
arrange to manufacture capital goods from which 
finished articles are made. We should manufacture 
Automobile engines, aeroplanes, all type^ of auto- 



NEW INDUSTRIES 2 1 J 

matic and ordinary machines and should not depend 
upon any other country for their supply. But in con- 
sidering the economic development of the country 
we feel that we should not lose sight of the fact that 
we are forty crores, and lacs of people are increasing 
every year. To create unemployment and then to 
arrange for doles can never prove a good solution. 
When we realise that the* numoer of people, who will 
deserve charity or help from the Government, will 
be sever; 1 crores we cannot but rely upon finding out 
employment for them. We must understand that 
charity or dole always demoralises a nation. Many 
of us may like to starve, as they have always been 
doing, rather than accept charity. Employment is 
the only solution and it can only be provided by cot- 
tage and small-scale industries. We would like to 
appeal to our industrialists, with all the emphasis 
at our command, that they should desist from starting 
industries which are already being followed by the 
cottage or small workers. There is ample scope for 
big industries. Let them allow the cottage indus- 
tries to live, develop and multiply. 

Both for the Government as well as for the people 
it seems desirable that they should, while planning and 
introducing new industries, go into the question wheth- 
er that article can be made on a small scale and if 
they are convinced that it cannot be done, then and 
then alone they should try to establish big industries. 
If they do not give preference to cottage and small- 
scale industries they will not be able to solve the main 
problem. Not only we require new cottage and small- 
scale industries for manufacturing articles, which we 
are purchasing now from foreign countries, but we 
require many more occupations for agriculturists, who 
have sufficient leisure from agriculture, which may 
serve as subsidiary occupations and add to their scanty 
earnings. It would be a dream to think of laising the 
standard of the masses without raising the income of 



a 14 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

the agriculturists, which can only be done by finding 
out subsidiary occupations for their leisure hours. 

Considering from both points of view it is? im- 
perative to add to the list of existing industries for 
which there already exists a demand in the country. 

There is yet another side of this question even 
if we want big industries to develop and considering 
that they are likely to employ all our surplus labour, 
big industries cannot be easily started for another 
few years, as there is and there will be a deficiency 
in securing capital goods. India shall have to wait 
till machinery is available from foreign countries. But 
if we take to cottage and small-scale industries most 
of the machines can be manufactured and a few models 
may be purchased and improved upon to suit our 
conditions. This is all the more reason that we should 
concentrate immediately upon the development of 
cottage and small-scale industries. 

Before we go into the details of new cottage in- 
dustries we beg to point out some of our handicaps. 
In other countries of the world Trade Reviews annual- 
ly issued by the Government contain details of imports 
for different articles as well as the details of export. 
In India we do not have these details and in most of 
the cases different articles arc grouped together and 
their detailed imports cannot be worked out separately. 
We do require many more details and the Depart- 
ment of Imports and Exports should be sufficiently 
strengthened so that we may be able to supply details 
to the public at large for whatever goods and articles 
that information is needed. In starting a new industry the 
knowledge, the extent of the consumption is a necessity, 
without which planning cannot be done. The extent 
can only be made available from import figures. For 
an undeveloped country, like ours, we would have 
expected that our annual Reviews ought to have contained 
figures in much more detail and at the same time 
Government experts ought to have indicated what 



NEW INDUSTRIES 

articles out of those are capable of being manufactured 
in the country. We wisn such information should 
be available at an early date. 

The other necessity for starting new industries 
is to know the details of raw material available in the 
country, along with their purities, extent and other 
particulars. At present we possess very little infor- 
mation in this connection. The only figures known 
are those of agricultural products. We are glad that 
the Government are strengthening their Geological 
Department and after some time information about 
n.ineral resources may be available. There is no annual 
publication which gives the details of raw materials, 
their extent of availability and the purpose for which 
they can be used, nor we have any publication from 
which we may know what new developments have 
taken place in other countries about the new crops, 
new industries or the utilities of the raw material. 
We are passing through a race of development and 
unless India is posted up-to-date, we cannot make 
any big headway. It is tne function of the Govern- 
ment to keep people informed as to what is happening 
in the world, and what new discoveries, inventions 
and uses of raw materials have been discovered. If 
the Government has not done this work, we ,would 
have expected the Federation Chamber of Commerce 
to take up this important line. If the Chambers do 
not inform their members about these things, they 
are not doing the public duty for which they are meant. 
If they have not done so far, we invite their attention 
to take this line up immediately. To expect such a 
big enquiry by any private person or a private firm 
is not possible. It requires a good library, as well 
as sufficient staff to collate all the material available. 

We have Trade Commissioners in almost all the 
important countries of the world but they are of not 
much use for the country. They ought to have been 
telling us .in their annual publications what types of 



Zl6 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

articles we can export for these countries or what 
lines of industrial development these people have 
taken, which we can imitate. We get very little in- 
formation through them for industrial development. 
England itself publishes small pamphlets, occasionally, 
as to the possibilities of her trade in other countries. 
Similar publications ought to have been started in 
India if Trade Commissioners pay a little attention to 
this important phase in the development of industries. 
India can no more remain isolated nor it can develop 
without the help of other countries. The knowledge 
and experience available in the whole ^orld must be 
pooled down to develop our industries and that can- 
not be done unless Government Departments are 
properly organised and systematised to meet the need 
of the country. 

There is a third point in this connection before 
we proceed. So far we have been exporting raw mate- 
rial to different countries. But there are very good 
chances of exporting finished goods which can easily 
be prepared in our cottages and they may be highly 
valued in foreign countries. Japan studied that point 
very minutely and could find out many such articles, 
which would find a sale in the foreign market at very 
good prices and could give a living to the cottage 
worker. We have referred to this aspect in the second 
chapter, but we may be excused to reiterate what 
we have said before. We are very rich in our weeds 
and agricultural products. The wages we give to our 
labour are the lowest in the world. That being so 
if we study the necessities of foreign countries and 
know thck fashions and tastes, we can utilise this 
labour for the manufacture of many articles, which 
foreign countries are in need of. By exporting goods 
a country need not exploit others, but may supply 
the needs of a foreign country at a much cheaper 
rate than what those countries could produce. Plaited 
goods is one of the most important industries in Japan. 



NEW INDUSTRIES 

We have no trade in plaited goods, while Japan ex- 
ports straw braids in sufficiently large quantities. We 
can produce these things in cottages as a side industry 
and can supply them to other countries. Their manu- 
facture is simple, the raw material is in plenty and labour 
is cheap. It is only a question of organising export 
trade. There are a number of eatables which we can 
manufacture cheaper than they are produced in other 
countries, and we can provide, in this way, some work 
for our people. The manufacture of guts, the tanning 
of leather and the like are all well known. We refer 
the readers to our book on Japan for most of the de- 
tails of the articles which fall under this category. 
Such industries can only develop provided travellers 
are sent to foreign countries to study the taste and 
requirements of other people after providing them 
with sufficient knowledge about the raw materials 
available in our country. If we train our young men 
for this purpose and send them out to observe minutely 
and study abroad, we can profitably start a number 
of new industries. 

The next point, to which we should draw the 
attention of the Government and leaders of public 
opinion, is that new industries cannot easily be started 
unless a propaganda for mass education is done. If 
we make our people literate we can easily keep them 
informed about discoveries, inventions, improvements 
in processes, machinery, tools, etc., which are likely 
to be suitable and useful for their occupation. If 
such knowledge is disseminated, there will be found 
many intelligent people to take new lines of develop- 
ment. Without literacy this cannot be achieved. 
To-day human element has been entirely neglected 
and we consider that the Government officials and a 
few leaders of public opinion can bring about improve- 
ment in all walks of life. This is entirely a wrong 
notion. The first requisite for any development, 
much more .for economic development, is that the 



21 8 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

people themselves must begin to think and they should 
try to improve their own condition. There are no more 
powerful instruments than education and literacy to 
remove fatalism amongst the^ people. Whatever type 
of Government takes charge of the country, we shall 
have to make our people think about their own future 
and there will lie the secret of all improvements and 
developments. Though it seems to be a sort of digres- 
sion, but we beg to point out that nothing can be achieved 
without literacy and we shall have to concentrate 
upon it as soon as possible. We entirely agree 
with the constructive scheme that Mahatma Gandhi 
has evolved. He has rightly given sufficient stress 
on education and if the Government is not going to 
introduce compulsory education in the country even 
after the War, there is no other method but to start 
it ourselves. We must see that every child, young 
and old, male and female should be made literate in 
the shortest time possible. 

The list of new industries can be enlarged and for 
this we shall need much greater space than this small 
volume permits. Simply to convince that new things 
can be manufactured on a small scale we give here the 
details of a few articles. Readers themselves can add 
to this list a number of other articles of the same cate- 
gory. 

All industries may be divided into three headings : 
Mechanical, Chemical and Agricultural. We shall 
divide our list under these headings, 

MECHANICAL INDUSTRIES 

By mechanical industry we mean the manufacture 
of those articles in which proper types of tools are 
reauired. A chemical industry on the other hand in- 
volves the use of a chemical process. As regards 
agricultural industry, it will be either mechanical or 
chemical or both. But we have given it a separate 
heading, as we consider such industries . must be re- 



NEW INDUSTRIES 219 

served for the agriculturists or the artisans living in 
villages. 

Coming to mechanical industries, the biggest and 
the most useful industry, that can be started, is the 
manufacture of bicycles. We have given it a first 
place for the simple reason that this industry will 
illustrate most of our points which we want to bring 
out during the course of this chapter. Some of the 
readers may think that bicycle cannot be manufactured 
on a small scale. But if we refer to the history of 
bicycle manufacture in Japan we find that in 1930 estab- 
lishments employing from 5 to 9 labourers were 51 '44 
%, while establishments in which 10 to 14 labourers 
were employed were 16-45 % an( l establishments 
employing 15 to 29 labourers were 18-02%. The total 
percentage of small establishments employing not 
more than 90 labourers was 85*91. How these small 
establishments could produce bicycles is a question 
which must be carefully studied. Bicycle consists of 
a number of parts and all these parts can be separately 
manufactured quite easily if proper types of tools 
are available. Establishments employing only a few 
labourers were started to manufacture one or two 
parts at one place, while the other parts were manu- 
factured in a separate establishment. Ail the parts, 
in this way, were divided into number of small 
establishments and when they were all manufactured 
in this fashion, they were brought to another establish- 
ment, which worked only as an assembling place. It 
is true that in all these small establishments bicycle 
was nowhere manufactured but a part of it only was 
made. But ail these parts together turned it into a 
bicycle in the assembling shop quite alright. This 
is the method as to how Japan has been working on 
a small scale and still producing the cheapest article in 
the world. Everybody will admit that the establish- 
ment which only produces one part of a bicycle is fat 
better fitted.than a very big factory which tries to pro- 



Z20 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

cluce an entire bicycle at one place. These small cot- 
tages are the best example or the division of labour 
and this specialised skill must produce the cheapest 
and best article than from the point of view of those 
who consider everything in a mass production manner. 
When parts are cheaply and separately built, their as- 
sembling must remain cheap cannot be doubted. Thus 
these industries working separately in number of places 
with a small number of workers can produce a far 
cheaper article than the biggest factory trying to make 
the same article at one and the same place. It must 
be conceded that the cost of supervision is entirely 
eliminated. Locking up capital to a big extent is not 
needed and as the workman himself remains the pro- 
prietor of the establishment, there is no exploitation 
and no cost of supervision has to be added to it. Fur- 
ther a man who works for this own self must put in the 
maximum amount of work in the shortest period and he 
must produce things far better than he would have done 
if he would have worked for another. In a place 
where the worker himself is the proprietor of the estab- 
lishment and earns the entire benefit that comes out 
of that manufacture, the work is done cheaper and 
more efficiently. 

The only objection that can be pointed out against 
this method of working is that the purchase of raw 
material will be expensive as the proprietor, being a 
small man, will be purchasing in a small quantity, and 
secondly that the man who assembles these parts into 
a bicycle is likely not to pay a reasonable price for the 
articles produced. In order to meet both these ob- 
jections Japanese Government has made co-operative 
societies or associations of all these workers and their 
working is supervised by the Government officials. They 
try to eliminate all types of unreasonable demands either 
ot the producer or of the assembler. Prices of different 
raw materials are fixed and the shops dealing in those 
articles cannot sell these articles at a higher rate than 



NEW INDUSTRIES lit 

fixed by the Government. In this way both the pro- 
fit of the dealers in raw materials as well as the prices 
of the -articles produced are fixed and thus there is no 
danger of exploitation, nor unreasonable demand pos- 
sible. There is a further safeguard provided by the 
Government inasmuch as when the bicycles are ex- 
ported to foreign countries, and profits are obtained, 
the assembler as well as the manufacturer of parts are 
assigned proportionate share of the profits, so that the 
profit of exporting an article is also shared by the whole 
lot of the producers and assemblers. 

There does not seem to be any flaw in the above 
arrangement. It is different whether our Govern- 
ment or our people would like to be governed by the 
same type ot laws or rules. We do not see there is 
anything intrinsically wrong to agree to such a proce- 
dure. If we make a co-operative society of all the 
workers manufacturing different parts, as well as the 
dealers and the assemblers, and decide the prices of 
different articles beforehand, we can create an organi- 
sation of this type in the country. In this way we may 
fix up the lowest prices at which bicycles ot a certain 
type should be sold. But if there comes a demand for 
a higher price, the profit of it should be shared amongst 
all workers and similarly if there is a fall in prices, 
everybody should suffer accordingly. Such a proce- 
dure in no case will bring about any restrictions or trade 
nor it will be detrimental to public interest. Let a 
co-operative society be started on these lines. 

We are glad that in some cities a few parts of 
bicycle are being manufactured by very small establish- 
ments. All this can serve as a nucleus for a big orga- 
nisation. 

Mechanical Toys There is hardly any person who 
has not seen the most attractive toys that Japan was 
selling before the War. It may be correct to say that 
they practically monopolised the entire trade of the 
world. In 1934 Japan exported metal toys to the 



222 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

extent of 80 lacs of yens and that of celluloid 
jo lacs. Rubber toys of 64 lacs; glass toys and 
other types of toys arc besides the above/ The 
secret ot the sale of toys lies in their varieties. If 
a shop tries to sell only one variety of toy, it is 
likely not to make much profit out of it. But if 
several types of toys are sold in a shop, children 
going to that shop like one or the other and 
the dealer will have a brisk sale. On this principle 
the export market of Japan was built. Different 
manufacturers were organised separately and their toys 
were purchased and exported after reserving a reason- 
able profit for the man exporting. The amount of profit, 
if any, after sale goes back to the manufacturers. There 
was organised an association of the toy manufacturers 
for the whole of Japan, wherein the manufacturers 
would discuss their difficulties and give their own sug- 
gestions to overcome them. In order to cheapen 
the toys, special attention was paid to the waste material 
coming out of the different factories. These toys are 
generally made out of the waste material from different 
tin factories. In India we are in the habit of dumping 
this valuable waste in manure pits where it does 
not easily decompose and as such is not even a 
good manure. In Japan Government officials, con- 
nected with the organisation, of toy makers, collect 
all this material and place it before their association, 
so that everyone of them will decide for which part 
of the toy that material could be utilised and to what 
extent. When the raw material is obtained from the 
waste and mechanical power is available at cheap rates, 
the readers can at once visualise that a most complicat- 
ed and beautiful toy can be produced for a song and 
any price given for it will be a profit to the maker. 
You require only a few suitable punches with a few 
dies. 

ftxttons The preparation of buttons from differ- 
ent materials is simply a mechanical proqess. If pro- 



NEW INDUSTRIES 

per type of machine is produced or evolved, many 
people will be able to manufacture different types of 
buttons from different materials available in the country. 
Leather, horn and metals are even now utilised for this 
purpose. There are a few people making buttons 
but we can employ many more in this important in- 
dustry. If we organise button makers and give them 
new designs and acquaint them with the lashion as 
well as the requirements of the consumer, we can ex- 
pand this trade on a large scale. The import of 
buttons in India from foreign countries is c^uite a de- 
cent one. Mysore Government has done quite a good 
work in this line. 

Nibs The manufacture of nibs docs not require 
very much of skill, if proper type of material is avail- 
able. We require sheets of different types of alloys, 
which may be utilised for this purpose, if we use iron 
sheet nibs some type of annealing may be necessary. 
Very crude attempt has been made in Inaia in the manu- 
facture of nibs. There are no good types so far evolved 
in this line. 

Stationery Articles Under this heading we can in- 
clude number of articles which can easily be made with 
a very small equipment. The manufacture of envelopes 
may be mentioned as an instance. It requires only a 
small machine with different types of dies. After all we 
do not see why the making of envelopes should not pay 
provided we make study of the tvpe of paper required 
for this purpose and the manufacturer gets paper at 
a cheap rate. In certain cases waste paper, blank on 
one side, can easily be utilised. The import of envelopes 
is a sufficiently big one. Different types of letter papers, 
etc., are articles which can easily be manufactured and 
can give employment to many or our people. 

Blotting paper, pads, calendars, diaries, etc., are 
many articles which can easily be manufactured. Clips 
for stitching and holding is another useful line. 

Pencils Are another important line. Nurembetg 



224 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

and Bavaria are the main centres in Germany for the 
manufacture of pencils. The machinery required for 
this purpose is very small. The manufacture of lead must 
remain a special art. If people are trained in it, there 
should be no difficulty in their manufacture in India, 
We are sorry to say that the attempts made so far are 
very crude, and the manufacturers have not cared to 
learn this art in more details as they ought to have done. 
India must produce its own pencils in all their shades. 

fountain Pens The manufacture of good fountain 
pens is a very easy method. We have seen in Japan 
people producing fountain pens in very small cottages 
and they could afford to sell their pens at as low a price 
as As. -/4/- each. A friend purchased two gross at that 
rate. Nobody will believe that the manufacturer would 
be making a gain from such cheap pens. Hollow 
round pipes of plastics and celluloid in different beauti- 
ful mixtures of colours are available or can be import- 
ed till the time we manufacture them ourselves. The 
only work that an artisan has to do is to cut the same 
in different sizes and prepare them to shape and then 
assemble it into a fountain pen. Nibs are available 
in the market and they can be purchased or manufactured. 

We saw quite a good attempt in Cawnpore and the 
golden nibs' were their speciality. We were struck 
by the design of small inexpensive machines made by 
the proprietor himself for the purpose. 

Rubber Goods Manufacture of rubber is an easy 
process from raw rubber to sheets or to different forms. 
Vulcanizing does not require very much money. Since 
the time Dunlop tyres are manufactured in India many 
people in Calcutta and other places have started the 
manufacture of rubber goods and they find no difficulty 
in manufacturing them. We shall take the subject under 
'Chemical Industries* but here we should like to point 
out that rubber sheets can be purchased and turned 
into different types of articles. They can be turned 
into different thickness of threads. Similarly the ebo- 



NEW INDUSTRIES 22 J 

nite rods or rubber rods can be utilised for the manu- 
facture of different articles. 

Manufacture of Harmonium y Gramophones and I 1 lute 3 
Quite good harmoniums are made in India at different 
places. But still we are importing a large number of 
them. If we specialise in the details there is no reason 
why good harmoniums cannot be produced in the 
country. 

Easier is the course of the manufacture of gramo- 
phones. With the use of a few punches, gramophones 
can be produced and in certain cases at half the price 
at which they are sold to-day. 

Flutes and other musical instruments can be manu- 
factured in the same way. People have done very 
good trade in musical instruments during the War 
days, and we are sure this industry will be stabilised 
for all times to come. 

Electro Plaiting This is an art which requires both 
mechanical and chemical knowledge. Though there 
are intelligent, illiterate people doing this trade quite 
successfully yet if we really want to develop this industry, 
it is but necessary that the chemists should take to it, 
and we are sure most of them will be getting more 
money than they are otherwise likely to earn in service. 
Since the time chrome plaiting has been introduced, 
even iron articles, cutlery, knives etc., can be electro- 
plated and sold. They are liked even better than silver 
articles. The manufacture of spoons, forks, etc., can 
easily be done from iron sheets by small punches. 
If people take to the manufacture of these articles and 
they are electro-plaited at one central place, many people 
can get their living and we can stop the imports in these 
articles altogether. If chemists take to this art, all 
types of salts and chemicals needed can easily be manu- 
factured in the country. Equipment is very simple and 
this too can be manufactured locally. However, there 
is no harm jf in the beginning we import the best sets 
if 



2Z6 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

from foreign countries and then try to improve upon 
them. 

Small Machines There is a big scope for the sale 
of small machines. Some firms in Bombay and Cal- 
cutta have taken their manufacture, but they have not 
concentrated upon the accuracy or the material used 
in these machines. Unless we concentrate upon these 
two important factors, we shall not produce a favourable 
impression amongst our own countrymen. Punches, 
machinery for wire drawing, confectionery, envelopes, 
etc., can easily be manufactured, and do not require 
very heavy equipment. Our ordinary mistris are 
quite capable of manufacturing these machines and 
tools provided there is some encouragement and or- 
ganisation behind them. If we just try to stop the 
imports of hardwares and small machines thousands 
of small foundries can be started with profit in the 
country. 

Files The manufacture of files appears to be a 
special art but we have seen their manufacture in Japan 
in very small cottages. Japan could afford to sell 
their files at even less than half the price at which the 
other makes were sold in India. The entire machinery 
equipment was sold for Rs. 1,400 before the War and 
Japanese were willing to teach the art if anybody 
purchased their equipment. It is not a big, amount, and 
there is no reason why people should not take up this 
industry. Some machines have already been imported 
into India and the work has been started. In order 
to manufacture a good or bad type of files, we require 
a good or bad steel for the purpose. 

Fittings for Houses This is a very big line and it 
requires only a few machines to do all these things. 
A few establishments have been started to do this work 
but the right type of machinery has not been installed. 
Further attempts for its reorganisation must be made. 

EJeftric Goods Many articles are being consumed 
in the country in electric trade. Most of these articles 



NEW INDUSTRIES 227 

can easily be made with the help of cheap tools and 
machinery. Though some work is being done but 
stilf the line is very big and many articles are not even 
tried. We wish that a systematic investigation be made 
and all such articles be manufactured in the country. 

Shoes and Other leather Goods In China we saw 
small outfit for making shoes and other leather goods. 
There is no reason as to why such a small outfit cannot 
be imported in the country and utilised. 

Sheet Metal Work Thousands of articles are made 
from sheet metal with the help of small punches. If 
we examine the articles we consume every day, we 
shall be startled as to why such small things should 
not be manufactured in the country. Cans, buckets, 
utensils, etc., can be cheaply manufactured and they can 
find a ready sale. Aluminium wares are well known 
in this line and in Poona and other places brass sheets 
are also being turned in different articles. 

Wire Articles Pins, nails, screws, etc,, are all made 
from iron wires. You simply require a small machine 
to do the job. These arc not expensive machines. 
We have seen attempts being made during the War 
even to make these machines. Though good auto- 
made machines are not made yet the attempts were 
quite successful and ingenious. 

Tapes, Cotton >raids> Strings Ropes, etc., are other 
lines in which we have mostly depended upon foreign 
countries. During the War some people did try 
these lines and they could make some money for their 
troubles but it is desirable that gains of War must be 
retained and proper arrangement for suitable machinery 
be made. 

Watches and Clocks In Switzerland watches are 
well-known cottage industry. There is no reason as to 
why both watches and clocks cannot be profitably made 
in the country. We require small gear-cutting machines 
for the purpdse and good mechanics to assemble the 
parts into a watch or a clock. 



COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

Metal Sprays Many articles can be usefully made 
by spraying other articles on them. Instead of silver- 
ing or tinning brass and copper we can make cheap 
articles from iron and give tin or silver spray over them. 
Chemical Industry is suffering a great deal for want 
of utensils which may not be acted upon by acids or 
alkalies. Here is a good solution for our problem. 
Many cottage workers with a very little equipment can 
take to this work with a little training. 

Wire Knitting We are glad that both in iron and 
brass wire knitting has started in many places. But 
this industry is not likely to survive unless proper type 
of equipment is imported and [modified according to 
our requirements. We hope and trust that this industry 
will establish itself in peace time. There is a big scope 
for wire netting and gauges of centrifugals and labora- 
tories. 

Wire Drawing Copper, brass, silver and gold wires 
are now being manufactured in the country by manual 
labour or by small machines run by small motors. 
Silver and gold thread is an old important industry. 
It is necessary that up-to-date methods be employed 
and suitable alloys be manufactured for number of other 
types of wires required by trade. 

Rolled Iron Tata Iron Works first started this 
industry on a big scale. It was taken up on a small 
scale in Cawnpore and since then the industry has 
spread throughout the country. It does not require 
big outfit. Scrap iron is the raw material which is 
easily available. Squares, flats and rounds are all rolled 
in different places. The work requires a bit of orga- 
nisation and patronage to establish the industry. 

Lanterns The manufacture of lanterns, as any- 
body will see in places where these are being manu- 
factured, is nothing else but the use of punches and the 
assembling of parts. 

There are thousands of other articles, which can 
i>e manufactured with ptoper types of toels without 



NEW INDUSTRIES 219 

any special skill required in their details. 

We can add to this list any number of other articles 
and -still the list will not be complete. We have given 
only a small list above simply to convince the readers 
the very big line available to us, if proper organisation 
and suitable investigation be made. 

The best thing for us to do will be to send a few 
good engineers and industrialists to China and Japan 
and to purchase suitable machines to start these industries 
at once. We made this suggestion to Government of 
India and we are sure now there will be no difficulty 
to send our delegation there. Copying is always cheaper 
in the long run than evolving the machine ourselves. 
We wish that full advantage of the world conditions 
and the helplessness of Japan be utilised and full use of 
the availability of these machines be employed. Perhaps 
it will be worth while to have our young and bright 
demobilised soldiers trained in Japan for different 
mechanical industries as it neither requires much skill 
nor much time to master the details. 

CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES 

Before the War everybody felt that the chemicals 
are difficult to be manufactured. This idea was due 
mostly to the fact that though chemical education of 
the highest order was imparted in our Universities, 
yet the chemists kept themselves aloof from the manu- 
facturing side. Fortunately, during the War the Govern- 
ment found itself to be in difficulty in the supply of 
chemicals and they were forced to utilise the eminent 
chemists of the country to be placed in charge of the 
Supply Directorates. They were asked to study the 
possibilities of the manufacture of different chemicals 
in India and they creditably did their job and produced 
sufficiently a long list which could be manufactured 
in India with the indigenous raw material. Many of 
the chemists made full use of this opportunity and made 
attempts to manufacture many articles which were im~ 



2}0 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

ported before. The margin of price between the raw 
material and the manufactured goods was sufficiently 
high and it was the main impetus to start these new 
lines. Many small factories were started and many 
chemicals began to be manufactured. The chemists 
made money and also supplied the needs of the Govern- 
ment. 

Institutions like Institute of Science, Bangalore 
and Universities also asked their chemists to do some 
useful work in this connection. The Government also 
approached factories, as well as Universities, to place 
chemists on the manufacturing side. Suggestions 
were made sometimes, and whole details of the pro- 
cesses were given, and things were started. It is true 
that the start was a haphazard one. It is also true that 
the margin of profit between the sale price and their 
manufacture was enormously high. These conditions 
will no more continue and many of these attempts will 
not survive yet many new ventures arc already estab- 
lished and must continue. 

We know from our own experience that many 
things can easily be made, provided our chemists wait 
patiently for their opportunity and persistently tackle 
their difficulties. We are sure that their labour will not 
go in vain. There is a big chance for manufacturing 
chemicals, and we hope the margin of profit will always 
remain sufficiently remunerative. 

We are glad that the Association of the Manu- 
facturers of Chemicals has been formed and mutual 
discussions have begun. But this does not seem to 
be sufficient. Before anybody can succeed, the question 
of the utilisation of by-products will have to be solved. 
Besides cut-throat competition amongst the manufac- 
turers will have to be avoided. If the chemists can 
frankly talk amongst themselves and concentrate upon 
the utilisation of by-products we are sure, we can hold 
our own. We believe a systematic method of dividing 
the country into different zones for the of manufacture 



NEW INDUSTRIES 13 I 

different articles is absolutely necessary so that the 
unhealthy competition may be avoided as far as possible. 
If a Syndicate for the sale of chemicals, consisting of 
all the manufacturers together be made, the competi- 
tion may be easily avoided. If the Government comes 
to our help there should be no difficulty. We can make 
other chemists statutory' members of a co-operative 
association of all the manufacturing concerns, and their 
manufactured goods may be pooled together for sale 
through a central syndicate. If such syndicate is 
evolved, it can easily raise the prices in certain localities, 
which can bring down the prices in others so as to 
compete successfully with the imported goods. Such 
a syndicate can also move the Government machinery 
for imposition of import duty. 

Most of the chemicals can easily be manufactured 
in small establishments and with small capital. We have 
not only seen this done in Japan, but we have seen it 
done with our own eyes during the War. Dr. Krishna 
Gopal, D.Sc., F.I.C. has started the writing of an im- 
portant book on 'Chemicals' which can be manufactured 
on a cottage scale with small capital and small equip- 
ment. We wish him every success and we hope his 
labours will be available to the public within a short 
period. 

Before we suggest names of some of the chemicals, 
that can easily be made, let us point out one very impor- 
tant thing. During the course of manufacture we have 
felt that there are two drawbacks in the manufacture 
of different chemicals. First is the cost of coal or 
fuel for processing where heat is essential. Our fur- 
naces are generally not well designed and the transport 
charges of coal are very high. Building of a furnace 
is highly technical and is based on experience. Engi- 
neers, who have made a specialised study of this branch, 
should come to the help of the chemists. Also, some 
of the chemists should go out and study the technique 
of furnace construction in detail, so that most economic 



2$ I COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

use of fuel may be made. In certain cases, introduction 
of rotary furnaces may be of some use. Electric 
furnaces may remove this difficulty where energy is 
provided cheap for this purpose. 

Unfortunately, in India coal is on one side of the 
country. Unless freight charges on railways for coal 
are reduced considerably, cost of fuel is bound to re- 
main high. It may be worth while that Railways may 
start coal depots at different stations in the country 
and give special rates up to those places. This will 
give them more freight and the coal will be distributed 
at considerably cheap rates throughout the country. 
The next solution of this difficulty may be found in the 
utilisation of cheap energy for heat. This, again, 
will require the manufacture of electric furnaces. In 
any case electric furnaces will be required in abundance, 
and it is but necessary that some people should take 
to it now. The possibilities of replacing energy for 
fuel must be studied in detail and it must be found out 
as to the rate of energy at which it is likely to compete 
against coal at the best possible centre. The transport 
of coal may be expensive while transport of energy 
will be comparatively cheap, though initial cost may 
be high. 

The second point necessary for investigation in 
the development of chemical industries is the question 
of right type of raw material to be used for the manu- 
facture of furnaces as well as utensils and tanks for 
processing. 

We require special investigations into this question. 
Importing ready-made articles from abroad may not 
be desirable, as, in that case, the investment made in 
these articles might not over capitalise the cottage 
industry. 

Below we give a few chemicals which can be manu- 
factured on a small scale. 

Turpmtim and Rosin Before the War Turpentine 
used to be imported and all of our requirements were 



NEW INDUSTRIES 133 

not supplied from our factories. There are huge 
plantations yet untapped in our forests. Some of these 
places are inaccessible. If tappers are trained in dis- 
tillation and if small but cheap equipments are pro- 
vided to them, we can import our turpentine and rosin 
from the forests instead of gum. This will give some 
more money to the tappers and supply will thus be 
considerably increased. 

Turpentine is a source of artificial camphor in other 
countries and if it is so utilised consumption of tur- 
pentine may increase. Russian method of distillation 
from twigs may also be tried with advantage. Distilla- 
tion does not require much skill and its details can 
easily be mastered. 

Hydrochloric and Nitric Acids Are already manu- 
factured in the country on a very small scale, and we 
do not see any reason as to why the small manu- 
facturers should be afraid of the big manufacturers, 
provided sulphuric acid is made available at reasonable 
rate. There are good many factories manufacturing 
sulphuric acid, but all of them do not manufacture 
hydrochloric and nitric acids and it will not be in their 
interest to raise the price of sulphuric acid. We think 
sulphuric acid is a chemical which will be required in 
the manufacture of thousands of other chemicals. 
Its price should not be allowed to go beyond a certain 
maximum, and must be controlled. We hope there 
will soon be a few factories manufacturing concentrated 
sulphuric acid and most of these establishments will 
not be interested in the manufacture of hydrochloric 
and nitric acids. This small-scale industry must be 
encouraged. 

Sodium Silicate It is manufactured at number of 
places and it is just as good as the imported articles. 
We have seen very ingenious methods of its manu- 
facture. If the industry is encouraged we shall soon 
be able to meet our entire demand in India. 

Sulphite. &rA Sodium Sulphide Sodium sulphate is a 



234 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

by-product of hydrochloric acid and it is as well a 
by-product of salt manufacture. There are huge 
deposits of sodium sulphate at Jodhpur. It is also 
prepared in number of places simply by leaching. 
Thus there is no dearth for the raw material. From 
sodium sulphate to sodium sulphide or sulphite only 
is a small step. 

Manganese and barium Salts India is very rich in 
the ores of manganese and barytes. Most of the salts 
in both these metals are not difficult to be made on a 
small scale. If Indian chemists master the technique 
and utilise the fuel economy we can become a first-rate 
country in supplying these salts. Instead of exporting 
the ores for a song we shall then be able to sell finished 
products and there will be a chance of developing 
number of industries in which these salts are utilised. 

Coal Tar Products Before the War there was no 
demand for chemicals which are the by-products of 
coal tar distillation. During the War the importance 
of these chemicals and other intermediaries has been 
brought home in India. There is likely to arise a set 
of industries utilising tar products. We envisage a 
time when India like Germany will be importing coal 
tar for preparing these chemicals and there will soon be 
established an industry on sound basis in these products. 
Most of these chemicals, which depend more on tech- 
nique rather than on organisation and equipment, will 
easily be prepared in cottages. 

In the above details we have given only an indi- 
cation of the types of chemical industries which can 
be started on a cottage scale. We do not want to enter 
into more details simply because the details will look 
boring to the ordinary reader not interested in chemicals. 
However, we can mention quite a long list in this con- 
nection. In Japan dyes are manufactured in small 
houses, who purchase the intermediaries from big 
concerns. However, we mention only a few chemical 
industries, which are of general domestic use. 



NEW INDUSTRIES 2J5 

Cosmetics It is quite a big line consisting of hair 
oils, soaps-washing toilet ordinary and medicated 
snows,' lipsticks v etc. Most of these articles are made 
even now in cottages, but the efficiency, required in 
the manufacture of these commodities, is not of a high 
order, as the work is done by very ordinary people. 

Pigments Both lake, as well as, direct is a cottage 
industry in Japan. We see no reason as to why manu- 
facture of pigments should require a big establish- 
ment. A good chemist with a sufficient chemical 
material in hand and with a few tanks some arrange- 
ment to provide steam can easily cover the entire 
line of pigments in all their shades. 

P<7/;;/ and Varnhhts Is similarly not difficult to 
manufacture. Proper type of mixing and grinding 
can be done on a small scale. It will always be the 
technique which will govern the secret rather than 
anything else. 

Synthetic Drugs and Chemicals This is a very big 
line and covers thousands of articles under it. If 
India becomes industrialised most of the intermediaries 
will be available at competitive prices and then for a 
good chemist it should no more be difficult to manu- 
facture synthetic drugs and other synthetic chemicals. 
A good deal of technique is required for the success 
of these articles, but as far as the equipment and 
machinery is concerned, we need not invest very large 
amount nor will have to employ large number of 
workmen. 

Fermentation Industries Vinegar, yeast, marmite 
are some of the products of bio-chemistry. A good 
deal of technique of bio-chemistry as well as a method 
of control may be required in their successful working, 
but as far as the number of people employed and the 
machinery needed is concerned, one may be assured 
that they will never be much. 

Celluloid, Cellophane and Artificial Silk In India we 
consider that*a very large amount of money is needed 



2j6 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

for the manufacture of these articles. In 1935 in Japan 
the total production of Rayon was worth 14,92,01,000 
yen out of which 2,25,23,000 yen of g<?ods were pro- 
duced in small establishments employing not more 
than 9 labourers. From the perusal or the annual 
reports we find that the number of small establishments 
in this line were daily increasing. If Rayon can be 
manufactured in Japan in small establishments, employ- 
ing not more than 9 persons, why should there be any 
difficulty in doing the same in India. 

Celluloid and cellophane are far easier to be made 
than Rayon. Of course, simple moulding of celluloid 
articles is a child's play. 

linamelled Wares Out of the total number of estab- 
lishments 22% consisted of those which employed 
less than 9 labourers. The industry requires more 
skill and knowledge of technique and a suitable fur- 
nace for annealing. 

Plastics Both the manufacture of plastic material 
as well as plastic goods require less of labour but more 
of technical skill and knowledge, and these things can 
easily be done in small establishments. 

Without going into more details the readers must 
be convinced that barring heavy chemicals or big in- 
dustries like fertilisers and all others which we mentioned 
above, practically all the articles can be manufactured 
on a small scale. Matches which were practically mono- 
polised by the Swedish combine before the War are 
all manufactured in small establishments in Japan. 
It must be admitted that Japan could flood the foreign 
markets with their cheap matches. 

Rubber Goods Manufacture of rubber goods is 
both a mechanical and a chemical process. We have 
seen very small establishments consisting of very 
ordinary machines wherein latex is mixed with different 
chemicals and turned into sheets and then these sheets 
are manufactured in number of useful articles. These 
machines are quite handy and effective jn working. 



NEW INDUSTRIES 237 

Thousands of rubber articles are manufactured with the 
help of these machines. We see no reason as to why 
such Articles ojuinot be manufactured in our country. 
Rubber impregnated cloth (water proofing) is another 
line of these goods. Rubber belting is another. 

During the War artificial rubber has found a good 
hold in the chemical world. India is full of raw mate- 
rial for artificial rubber and some of the processes do 
not require large investments. 

AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRIES 

After giving small description of chemical and 
mechanical Industries we only describe a few agri- 
cultural industries. 

India needs small machinery like ploughs, chaff 
cutters, harrows, cultivators, centrifugals, hand pumps 
and the like in millions and all these can profitably be 
manufactured in small establishments, provided the 
right type of machinery is installed and the man knows 
his job. 

Quite small establishments are working for the 
manufacture of chaff cutters in Punjab. Other articles 
have not yet been taken up as there has been no en- 
couragement, but we have no doubt that these small 
establishments will be able to hold their own against 
big establishments. It is the minute study of the re- 
quirements of the agriculturists rather than the big 
investment necessary to manufacture these articles. 
If a proper study of the requirements is made and good 
type is evolved the manufacture of the same will not 
be difficult. 

Dairy Products It is a pity that every profitable 
line in agriculture is being monopolised by the capi- 
talists and industries quite suitable to the farmers are 
being usurped one by one. Agriculture is the least 
paying industry in the world but when we deprive the 
fanner of all connected industries, we make him poorer 
still. Dairyjng is an allied industry to agriculture but 



23 8 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

the farmer is only made either to sell his milk to the 
middle man or to manufacture Ghi. * Dairy is one of 
of the industries whose profits begin .to dwindle the 
more you take to processing. Milk fetches the highest 
price, while cream fetches less, butter still less and 
ghi gives the least. But in all remote villages poor 
man is forced to prepare ghi and sell it against cheap 
adulterated hydrogenated oil. Adulteration is rampant 
in the entire business and honest man has no 
place. Government will do nothing to stop dishoncs 
dealings and without it no improvement in business 
can he made. 

If we prepare condensed milk or milk products 
we can get far better prices than turning milk into 
ghi. Condensing of milk is not a difficult process, i 
We saw quite a small outfit consisting of a small vacuum 
pan only to prepare condensed milk. It was being 
run only with the help of a few men. Such establish- 
ments, if started, must add some money to the income 
of the agriculturists. Milk foods specially for children 
and invalids will be only a small step from condensed 
milk. We can stop all imports in that line. We are 
aware that Dr. Wright has recommended that we should 
not manufacture these products but we beg to differ 
from him for the simple reason that anything which 
gives us more money must be adopted in place of highly 
wasteful method of ghi manufacture. 

Cheese making is another line. Soft cheese is 
already known in the country and it is the base for all 
Bengali sweets. Soft cheese cannot be kept for long. 
In other countries good cheese is made by the farmer 
specially in Italy and Holland. The method is auiti 
simple. Even if we take objection to the use of animal 
proauct for curdling milk there are number of vegetable 
products which can be quite usefully employed in its 
manufacture. There is need both for investigation 
and organisation, but once this line is started useful 
material for human food will be saved. 



NEW INDUSTRIES 239 

Casein was manufactured in number of places 
and sent to Germany before the War. Its use in ply- 
wood as glue^and as coating for art paper are very well 
known. The manufacture is not a complicated one. 
In remote places wherefrom milk cannot be easily 
transported its manufacture may serve quite a useful 
line. 

Butter and cream are manufactured in Aligarh 
and many other places in quite small establishments* 
But all these shops are owned by the non-agriculturists. 
The farmer is simply exploited by the middleman. 
We wish that this work may be clone in the homes of 
the producer himself so that he may get a few coppers 
more from this business. 

l : ood Products Are quite a big line. As we have 
stated in Part II during the War the Government 
encouraged the manufacture of number of food articles, 
a brief description of which we have already given. 
The list mentioned there is not at all exhaustive. A 
simple survey of food products that come to the market 
from foreign countries will convince the readers of the 
huge possibilities of this line. 

Dried sweet potatoes are common feature in For- 
mosa, where sweet potatoes arc cut into small pieces 
by a treadle machine and they are simply dried in the 
sun. This least expensive method can be easily intro- 
duced in place of highly expensive dehydrating facto- 
ries. Similarly, potatoes can be cut and dried and we 
are sure they keep better than those prepared in dehy- 
drating factories. Of course the little profit in that 
case will go to the producer and not to the capitalist. 
Carrots can similarly be dried and be made into Hour, if 
necessary. 

Dried vegetables were very well known in the 
country and quite a large number of vegetables were 
preserved in that respect. If proper organisation 
be made, we can give a side industry to the 
agriculturist. 



240 COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

Sauce, Pickles and Achars This industry is quite 
common in every home in India. But the farmer 
never cared to make money out of this industry. Articles 
prepared are both tasty and cheap. In this commercial 
age perhaps there is need to organise the growers 
into manufacturing these articles. The experience is 
already there, it is only the training in proper packing 
and the arrangement for sale which is required. 

Thousands of maunds of mango in its different 
stages go to waste every year and are sold for a song. 
If a proper arrangement for its utilisation be made we 
shall be adding to out food resources on the one hand 
and to the income of the cultivator on the other. 

Wild fruit and herbs There are number of wild fruits 
and herbs which arc utilised for the purpose. There 
may be huge potentialities in their development. The 
only thing required is to give people a proper training 
and make them money- minded. Of course, proper 
packing material will have to be provided. 

Vinegar This is a very old industry of the country. 
But since no exploitation of this source was ever thought 
of, small lots were prepared and locally utilised. Good 
flavour vinegar was manufactured in the crude manner 
possible but now synthetic vinegar is the order of the 
day. People purchase acetic and mix it with water 
and add artificial flavours. Sometimes fruits or their 
juices are mixed and kept in the sun for a few days to 
acquire flavour. If this practice is stopped, a brisk 
trade can be done by the farmer in this line. Vinegar 
can be prepared from cane juice and many other juices 
besides jaggery. Though with a little training village 
method of manufacture can be easily improved yet 
there will be no difficulty in giving training in the 
scientific method of vinegar manufacture. 

Starch Making Is really a cottage industry. In 
Cheeba prefecture of Japan starch from sweet potato 
is manufactured in many a small establishments. This 
industry can easily be established where sweet pota- 



NEW INDUSTRIES 241 

toes grow well, specially in Assam and Central Provinces. 
In America more starch-producing varieties have been 
evolved and we can successfully introduce these strains. 

Tapioc^can be grown in number of places and 
this can serve as a starch-producing plant. It gives 
the finest and purest starch. 

With a small equipment consisting of stone grinders 
(ordinary chakki) and a few sieves one can take to the 
preparation of starch specially when grains like jowar 
and maize arc employed for the extraction of starch. 
Main beauty of making starch in villages is that no by- 
product of it will be wasted and all the waste material 
can be utilised as cattle or human feed. 

Fibre Industries Though for ordinary cordage 
fibre is produced in every village but no attempt has 
been made in stabilising this industry. Method of 
retting and extraction must be improved. There are 
simple machines both for extracting fibre as well as 
for turning the fibre into ropes and strings. Such 
equipments can be introduced with advantage. 

Citric and Tartaric Acid Manufacture of both these 
acids is an agricultural industry in other countries but 
we import quite a lot of these acids. There is no 
reason why these acids be not manufactured in the 
country. 

Salt y Sodium Carbonate, Sodium SulphatCy Potassium 
Nitrate, Sajji Matti Are some of the articles which are 
being manufactured from time immemorial. But 
these industries have got a set-back due to the ignorance 
of the manufacturers in up-to-date methods as well 
as due to the nasty excise laws. The matter requires 
a proper looking into to establish these industries on 
their old basis. 

We can add to the above list a large number of 
industries but do not propose to do so inasmuch as 
that once a proper incentive is given many new industries 
will suggest themselves. The only thing required is 
the interest to be taken in cottage industries by the 



24* COTTAGE AND SMALL-SCALE INDUSTRIES 

leaders of public opinion and the Government, We 
would refer the readers to go through our Hindi 
book on the economic development of Japan, wherein 
they will get into the details of organisat ; bn and func- 
tioning of these industries in that country.